Robert Dallek

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Robert Dallek
BornMay 16, 1934 (1934-05-16) (age 87)
Alma materUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Columbia University
Spouse(s)Geraldine Kronmal (m. 1965)
AwardsBancroft Prize (1980)
Scientific career

Robert A. Dallek (born May 16, 1934)[1] is an American historian specializing in the presidents of the United States, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. He retired as a history professor at Boston University in 2004 and previously taught at Columbia University, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Oxford University. He won the Bancroft Prize for his 1979 book Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932–1945 as well as other awards for scholarship and teaching.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dallek is the son of Rubin (a business-machine dealer) and Esther (Fisher) Dallek.

Dallek attended the University of Illinois, graduating with a B.A. in history in June 1955. He did graduate work at Columbia University, earning an M.A. in February 1957, and a Ph.D. in June 1964. While working on his Ph.D., he was a history instructor at Columbia.

He married Geraldine Kronmal (a policy health analyst) on August 22, 1965.

Academic career[edit]

In 1964-1994 Dallek advanced from assistant to full professor of history at the Department of History at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). From 1966 to 1968 he was a graduate adviser. From 1972 to 1974 he served as vice chair of the department. From 1981 to 1985 he was a research associate at the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute. In 1993 he was a visiting professor at the California Institute of Technology, and from 1994 to 1995 he was the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University, which in 1995 awarded him an honorary M.A.

Since 1996 Dallek has been a visiting professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and a professor of history at Boston University. From 2004 to 2005 he was Montgomery Fellow and a visiting professor in the history and government departments at Dartmouth College.

Dallek is a member of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963[edit]

In 2003, Dallek published the New York Times Bestseller An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963, the first major biography of John F. Kennedy in almost 40 years. Based on archival resources and unprecedented access to his medical records, it revealed his secret struggle with major health problems as well as his love affairs, the backstage role of his father, his appointment of his brother Robert F. Kennedy to the office of United States Attorney General, and speculations about what the President would have done about the Vietnam War if he had lived.

Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power[edit]

In 2007 Dallek published Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power, which claims that they were visionaries and cynics at the same time, in an attempt to explain the ups and down of their diplomatic careers. "The careers of both Nixon and Kissinger reflect the extent to which great accomplishments and public wrongdoing can spring from inner lives." The book was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in History.



Journal articles[edit]

  • 'Franklin Roosevelt as world leader', The American Historical Review, 76 (1971): 1503–1513
  • 'National mood and American foreign policy: a suggestive essay', American Quarterly, 34 (1982): 229–261
  • 'Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam: the making of a tragedy', Diplomatic History, 20 (1996): 147
  • 'Tales of the tapes', Reviews in American History, 26 (1998): 333–338
  • 'John F. Kennedy's Civil Rights Quandary.' American History 38.3 (2003): 36

Essays in edited volumes[edit]

  • American perceptions of the Soviet Union, in Abbott Gleason (ed.), Cold War-Cold Peace: Soviet American Relations, 1933–1983 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1975)
  • 'Triumphant America in a shaken world', in Sanford J. Ungar (ed.), Estrangement: America and the World(New York: Oxford University Press, 1985)
  • When Presidents Become Weak, in Walter Isaacson (ed.), Profiles in Leadership: Historians on the Elusive Quality of Greatness (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2011)

TV appearances[edit]

Dallek appeared on The Daily Show in July 2007. He has made numerous appearances on CNN and on public television and radio, including several on-camera comments included the History Channel's "JFK:A Presidency Revealed" and the American Experience biographies "F.D.R." and "LBJ."


External links[edit]