Joyce Appleby

Professor Emerita

After graduating from Stanford University in 1950, I worked for Mademoiselle magazine in New York City, returning to California to be married and to continue magazine and newspaper writing while my children were young. After the birth of my third child, I enrolled at Claremont Graduate School where I earned a Ph.D. in history in 1966. I went with my family to Paris in 1966-67, studying French and preparing articles from my dissertation, "An American in Paris: The Career of an American pamphlet in French Revolutionary Politics, 1787-89." Coming back to the United States, I began teaching at San Diego State University.

I spent 1970-71 in London doing research on my book, Ideology and Economic Thought in Seventeenth-Century England, winner of the 1978 Berkshire Prize. I returned with my family to Cambridge, England, in 1977-78 where I was a Fellow Commoner at Churchill College. In 1980 I was named to the Council of the Institute of Early American History and Culture at Williamsburg, acting as chair from 1983 to 1986. I have also served on the editorial boards of the American Historical Review and the William and Mary Quarterly.

In 1981, I was appointed Professor of History at UCLA where I taught for twenty years, retiring in June of 2001. In 1982 I was invited to give the Phelps Lectures at New York University which eventuated in Capitalism and a New Social Order: The Jeffersonian Vision of the 1790s. In 1984, I gave the Becker lectures at Cornell. In 1990-91 I was Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University and a fellow of Queen's College. In 1991, I was President of the Organization of American Historians, and in 1997 I was the President of the American Historical Association.

In 1992 Harvard University Press bought out a collection of my essays, as Liberalism and Republicanism in the Historical Imagination and in 1994, I published with Lynn Hunt and Margaret Jacob Telling the Truth about History. My research has covered England, France, and America in the early modern period, but my abiding curiosity has hovered around questions about liberal values and institutions. I am currently working on a study of the cohort of Americans, black and white, male and female, born between 1776-1800 and their experiences as they came of age in the early nineteenth century. Drawing upon this research, I have recently edited Recollections of the Early Republic: Selected Autobiographies from Northeastern University Press, 1997. In 2000, Harvard University Press published my study of early nineteenth-century America, Inheriting the Revolution: the First Generation of Americans.

During the summers of 1993, 94 and 95 I led a Mellon-sponsored seminar of graduate students entitled, "Knowledge and Postmodernism in Historical Perspective." From this program, five of us developed an undergraduate course and a text of the same name which Routledge published in 1995.

I have recently finished a presidential biography of Thomas Jefferson, which appeared in 2003 in the Henry Holt presidential series. In 2005, Rowman and Littlefield brought out a collection of my addresses and articles. I also edited a volume of the writings of Thomas Paine for Barnes and Noble Classics. In 2006, the Organization of American Historians will bring out an inaugural collection of the best articles written on American history in 2005 which I have edited. In retirement, I am continuing to co-direct with James Banner, the History News Service, an informal association that distributes op-ed essays written by historians to over 300 newspapers weekly. I am also writing op-ed essays myself and working on the living wage movement in Los Angeles.


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