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Joyce Oldham Appleby (born April 9, 1929) is an American historian. She is Professor Emerita of History at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She served as president of the Organization of American Historians (1991) and the American Historical Association (1997).
Joyce Appleby was born in Omaha, Nebraska, of English, Scotch-Irish and Norwegian stock. Her father was a businessman, and she attended public schools in Omaha, Dallas, Kansas City, Evanston, Phoenix, and Pasadena.
She received her B.A. degree from Stanford University in 1950, and then became a magazine writer in New York. Returning to academia, she earned her Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate School in 1966. She taught at San Diego State University from 1967–81, then became a professor of history at UCLA. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993.
When she was the president of the Organization of American Historians, Appleby secured Congressional support for an endowment to send American Studies libraries to a total of sixty universities around the world; a selection of 1,000 books were made by a group of scholars on American history, literature, political science, sociology, and philosophy.
Appleby is the widow of Andrew Bell, a professor of European history at San Diego State University. They have three children together.
She is a specialist in historiography and the political thought of the early American Republic, with special interests in Republicanism, liberalism, and the history of ideas about capitalism. She has served on the editorial boards of numerous scholarly journals and editorial projects, and has received prominent national fellowships.
- "Reconciliation and the Northern Novelist, 1865-1880", Civil War History, Vol. 10 (June 1964)
- "The Jefferson-Adams Rupture and the First French Translation of John Adams' Defence", American Historical Review, Vol. 73, No. 4 (April 1968)
- "The New Republican Synthesis and the Changing Political Ideas of John Adams", American Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 5 (December 1973)
- "Liberalism and the American Revolution", New England Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 1 (March 1976)
- "The Social Origins of American Revolutionary Ideology", Journal of American History, Vol. 64, No. 4 (March 1978)
- "Modernization Theory and the Formation of Modern Social Theories in England and America", Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 20, No. 2 (April 1978)
- "Commercial Farming and the 'Agrarian Myth' in the Early Republic", Journal of American History, Vol. 68, No. 4 (March 1982)
- "What Is Still American in the Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson?", William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 2 (April 1982)
- "History as Art: Another View", American Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 1 (Spring 1982)
- "Republicanism and Ideology", American Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Autumn 1985)
- "Republicanism in Old and New Contexts", William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 1 (January 1986)
- "The American Heritage: The Heirs and the Disinherited", Journal of American History, Vol. 74, No. 3 (December 1987)
- "One Good Turn Deserves Another: Moving beyond the Linguistic; A Response to David Harlan", American Historical Review, Vol. 94, No. 5 (December 1989)
- "Recovering America's Historic Diversity: Beyond Exceptionalism", Journal of American History, Vol. 79, No. 2 (September 1992)
- "The Personal Roots of the First American Temperance Movement", Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 141, No. 2 (June 1997)
- "The Power of History", American Historical Review, Vol. 103, No.1 (February 1998)
- "The Americans' Higher-Law Thinking behind Higher Lawmaking", Yale Law Journal, Vol. 108, No. 8 (June 1999)
- Economic Thought and Ideology in Seventeenth Century England (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1978) ISBN 0-691-05265-4
- Capitalism and a New Social Order: The Republican Vision of the 1790s (New York: New York University Press, 1984) ISBN 0-8147-0581-2
- Liberalism and Republicanism in the Historical Imagination (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1992) ISBN 0-674-53012-8
- (co-author) Telling the Truth About History (New York, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1994) ISBN 978-0-393-31286-7
- (ed.) Knowledge and Postmodernism in Historical Perspective (New York: Routledge, 1996) ISBN 0-415-91382-9
- (ed.) Recollections of the Early Republic: Selected Autobiographies (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1997) ISBN 1-55553-301-9
- Inheriting the Revolution : The First Generation of Americans (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press, 2000) ISBN 0-674-00236-9
- The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2010) ISBN 978-0-393-06894-8
- Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2013) ISBN 978-0-393-23951-5
- Faculty page at UCLA
- Online NewsHour: A Conversation With Joyce Appleby
- Joyce Appleby, The Power of History, AHA Presidential Address Retrieved 19 April 2010
- Appearances on C-SPAN