Alan Brinkley (born June 2, 1949) is an American historian who has taught for over twenty years at Columbia University. He is Allan Nevins Professor of History and, from 2003 to 2009, was University Provost.
Life and career
Brinkley was born in Washington, D.C. He is the son of Ann (Fischer) and David Brinkley, a long-time television newscaster at NBC and ABC. Brinkley was an undergraduate at Princeton and received his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1979.
Brinkley’s scholarship has focused mostly on the period of the Great Depression and World War II, although his work has moved into other areas as well. Among his books are Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression (1983),[a] which won the National Book Award; The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War (1995); Liberalism and its Discontents (1998); and The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century (2010), which won the Ambassador Book Prize and the Sperber Prize, as well as being a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of two short biographies: Franklin D. Roosevelt (2009) and John F. Kennedy (2012). He is also the author of two American history textbooks, American History and The Unfinished Nation, which are widely used in colleges and AP high school classes.
His essay “The Problem of American Conservatism,” published in the American Historical Review in 1994, helped bring the growing conservative movement to the attention of scholars.
He is one of three American historians to have been both Harmsworth Professor at Oxford (in 1998-99) and Pitt Professor of American History at Cambridge (in 2011-2012). He is an honorary fellow of the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford. He received the Jerome Levenson Teaching Prize in 1982 at Harvard University, where Brinkley taught for seven years; and the Great Teacher Award at Columbia in 2003. He is the chair of the board of the Century Foundation in New York, and he is the chair of the board of the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. He was also a trustee of Oxford University Press from 2009 to 2012 and a trustee of the Dalton School.
He lives in New York with his wife, Evangeline Morphos, and his daughter, Elly.
- 1982, Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression —winner of the National Book Award[a]
- 1992, The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People
- 1995, The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War
- 1998, Liberalism and Its Discontents
- 2009, Franklin Delano Roosevelt
- 2010, The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century
- 2012, John F. Kennedy: The American Presidents Series: The 35th President, 1961-1963
Brinkley has written several textbooks that are used by college and high school U.S. History classes.
- America in the Twentieth Century (1960), co-authored with Frank Freidel, with the fifth edition published in 1982 - used in college 20th Century U.S. History classes.
- American History: A Survey, originally by Current, Williams & Freidel (1961), by Brinkley in recent editions — used especially for AP U.S. History and International Baccalaureate History courses
- The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People — another AP US History text
- 1983 National Book Award for Voices of Protest[a]
- 1987 Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize, Harvard University
- 2003 Great Teacher Award, Columbia University
- 2006-2007 Scholarly Journal Award by Kathy Walh-Henshaw at St. Mary's Lancaster
- This was the 1980 award for hardcover History.
From 1980 to 1983 in National Book Award history there were dual hardcover and paperback awards in most categories, and several nonfiction subcategories including General Nonfiction. Most of the paperback award-winners were reprints, including the 1983 History.
- "Alan Brinkley". Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale. 2011.
- "National Book Awards – 1983". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
- Columbia University profile
- A Time to Remember, How Henry Luce Founded a Magazine Empire That Became His Bully Pulpit, The Wall Street Journal, 17 April 2010
- Audio interview with Brinkley at National Review Online
- Booknotes interview with Brinkley on The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People, October 10, 1993.
- Rothermere American Institute: Distinguished Fellows of the RAI