Andrew Delbanco

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Andrew H. Delbanco (born 1952) is Director of American Studies at Columbia University and has been Columbia's Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities since 1995. He writes extensively on American literary and religious history.[1]


A graduate of Harvard University (BA 1973 and PhD 1980), Delbanco has been teaching at Columbia University since 1985 and, since 1995, he has been Columbia's Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities. He married Dawn Ho Delbanco, a fellow Harvard graduate, in 1973. His older brother, Thomas L. Delbanco, taught medicine.[2][3]

In 2001 Delbanco was named by Time Magazine as "America's Best Social Critic",[4] and in 2003 was chosen New York State Scholar of the Year by the New York Council for the Humanities. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,[3] he has served as vice president of PEN American Center and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation (1990),[5] the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). He is a trustee of the National Humanities Center, the Library of America, the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Teagle Foundation.[6][3]

Delbanco's books The Puritan Ordeal (1989) and Melville: His World and Work (2005) received the Lionel Trilling Award at Columbia University. Only he and Edward Said have won the award twice. He has also received Columbia's Great Teacher Award.[6] He is the author of The Death of Satan: How Americans Have Lost the Sense of Evil (1995), Required Reading: Why Our American Classics Matter Now (1997), The Real American Dream: A Meditation on Hope (1999) and College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be (2012). Among the books he has edited or co-edited are The Puritans in America (1985), The Sermons of Ralph Waldo Emerson (volume 2) (1990), The Portable Abraham Lincoln (1992) and Writing New England (2001). Delbanco's essays appear regularly in the New York Review of Books,[7] The New Republic, and other journals, on topics ranging from American literary and religious history to contemporary issues in higher education.[3] He was awarded a 2011 National Humanities Medal "for his writings on higher education and the place classic authors hold in history and contemporary life. Much of his work is about how the universities survived since the 20th century to present.

Selected publication[edit]

  • —— (1981). William Ellery Channing : An Essay on the Liberal Spirit in America. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674953355. 
  • Heimert, Alan and Andrew Delbanco (1985). The Puritans in America: A Narrative Anthology. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674740653. 
  • —— (1995). The Death of Satan : How Americans Have Lost the Sense of Evil. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. ISBN 0374135665. 
  • —— (1997). Required Reading : Why Our American Classics Matter Now. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. ISBN 0374230072. 
  • —— (1999). The Real American Dream : A Meditation on Hope. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674749251. 
  • —— (2005). Melville : His World and Work. New York: Knopf. ISBN 0375403140. 
  • Lincoln, Abraham and Andrew Delbanco (2009). The Portable Abraham Lincoln. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 9780143105640. 
  • —— (2012). College : What It Was, Is, and Should Be. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691130736. 
  • Delbanco, Andrew, John Stauffer, Manisha Sinha, Darryl Pinckney and Wilfred M. McClay (2012). The Abolitionist Imagination. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674064447. 


  1. ^ "Professor Andrew Delbanco Awarded National Humanities Medal", Columbia News, February 14, 2012
  2. ^ Martinez, Barbara E. "English Professor Brings Literature Outside Class", June 2, 1998, accessed November 15, 2012
  3. ^ a b c d "Andrew Delbanco", Columbia University: American Studies Faculty & Staff, accessed November 15, 2012
  4. ^ [1] Cambridge Forum Speakers 1970–1990 Volume II
  5. ^ [2] Delbanco on John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation website
  6. ^ a b "Delbanco Receives National Humanities Medal", "Around the Quads", Columbia College Today, Spring 2012
  7. ^ [3] Delbanco on the New York Review of Books website

External links[edit]