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John A. Garraty

The late John A. Garraty was one of America’s foremost historians, a Contributing Editor of American Heritage for nearly 30 years, and Chairman of the History Department of Columbia University, where he taught for forty 40 years.

Prof. Garraty was most famous for editing the 24-volume reference work American National Biography, which tells the story of the U.S. through the life histories of 17,450 of its citizens. Prof. Garraty was the author of dozens of books including Henry Cabot Lodge, Woodrow Wilson: A Great Life in Brief, and The Great Depression. He was also the author, with Mark C. Carnes, of The American Nation, a widely used college textbook now in its 13th edition. From 1969 to 1971, he served as president of the Society of American Historians.

Photo courtesy of Dan Hogan Charles / New York Times

Articles by this Author

The crisis swept over France and Germany and Britain alike—and they all nearly foundered. Now more than ever, it is important to remember it didn’t just happen here.
This is not a test. It’s the real thing.
Over any extended period of time, the state of historical thinking about the great national topics changes in both subtle and dramatic ways. New facts and interpretations are being debated, written about, and taught. To keep you informed, AMERICAN HERITAGE introduces the first of a series.
Being out of work in the old days usually brought shame and humiliation. How—and why—have we changed our feelings about unemployment?
In the era of the Bull Moose, Progressivism became a party; the man behind Roosevelt was, of all things, a Morgan partner
exhibit one in a gallery of men who fought the good fight in vain
How J. P. Morgan, like a “one-man Federal Reserve,” calmed the bankers and helped ease the Panic of 1907
The Monte Carlo capers of U. S. Steel’s new president outraged Andy Carnegie but never ruffled J. P. Morgan
By private wire from Oyster Bay Roosevelt angled for the 1916 Progressive and Republican nominations, but his strategy backfired and killed the Progressive party
His career at Princeton prepared him for a larger role, but also showed his strange blend of strength and weakness
Henry Cabot Lodge was a public man in the old sense—one who was often wrong but never evil