In Memoriam: Andrew Gladding Whiteside
Allen McConnell, September 2006
From the In Memoriam column of the September 2006 Perspectives
Andrew Gladding Whiteside, professor of history emeritus in the history department at Queens College, New York, died peacefully in his sleep on July 10, 2005. He was 83 years old.
He graduated from Harvard College in 1943, volunteered for military service, and served with the tank-destroyers. He received the Purple Heart at Caserta during the Italian campaign. Later he served in the Military Government in Vienna, and stayed on in it briefly after the war as a civilian.
It was there that he became fascinated with the history of Austria-Hungary and its Germanic neighbor to the north. His subsequent marriage to Alice Graefin d’Harnancourt of Graz, his wife of 47 years, greatly contributed to his sophistication and understanding of his chosen field of study.
After returning to Harvard, he received his MA and PhD degrees, the latter under the supervision of William L. Langer. He taught for several years at Duke and Columbia Universities before coming to Queens College in 1959, where he taught until his retirement in 1986. He also was a member of the faculty at the PhD program at the City University of New York. He was a fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge University, in 1973.
His scholarly work centered on the histories of Austria-Hungary and Germany before World War I. His studies led to numerous articles and two books, Austrian National Socialism before 1918, and The Socialism of Fools: Georg Ritter von Schoenerer and Austrian Pan-Germanism. In his last decades of teaching, he was one of the earliest scholars to offer a course on the Holocaust.
As a colleague he was loyal, friendly, and judicious, serving on departmental committees, especially the promotions and budget committee, where he was an enthusiastic and discriminating seeker of well-qualified appointees. Many a routine departmental meeting was enlivened by his unfailing wit (always to entertain or make a point, never to ridicule) and his incisive suggestions. His occasional pranks (directed only against pomposity) co-existed with a natural gravitas and complete dedication to teaching. Strict in his standards of scholarship, he was also generous with his time and care for students in office hours and beyond, patiently going over bluebooks and term papers with students, and supporting their later studies and quests for academic placement. His most remarkable quality was his openness to people from all walks of life, his curiosity about them, his readiness to help them and learn from them—rural neighbors upstate, mechanics, plumbers, his clockmaker instructor, foreign nobility, losers, salesmen, clergymen, lawyers….
He is survived by his wife Alice, his son Andrew in Zurich, and his daughter Ann in Chenagno County, New York.
Queens College, CUNY