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Age of Reform

Do You Still Read Hofstadter?

In continuation of what appears to be a series, I’d like to talk about Richard Hofstadter. Hofstadter, of course, was the American political historian who taught at Columbia with other academic luminaries such as Lionel Trilling and Jacques Barzun. Though an immaculate stylist and one of the most influential historians of his generation, Hofstadter’s star faded upon his (premature) death, before experiencing a slight revival with the publication of of David S. Brown’s Richard Hofstadter: An Intellectual Biography. Today his reputation is unclear to me, and I can’t quite figure out the status of his work, even when it overlaps Read more