Publication Date

February 1, 1997

Maxwell P. Schoenfeld

Maxwell P. Schoenfeld, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, died at his home on August 2,1996, at the age of 60. After receiving his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1962, Professor Schoenfeld taught at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, for two years before coming to the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire. While at Eau Claire, he compiled an enviable record as a teacher, winning both the University Teaching Excellence Award and the first Teaching Excellence Award given by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. His courses in English and Irish history, as well as World War II at the lower division level, were among the most popular and esteemed in the curriculum of the history department.

Schoenfeld's publications included six books on the subjects of the House of Lords, Winston Churchill, the war ministry of Churchill, and the World War II naval and air wars. His most popular book was Sir Winston Churchill: His Life and Times in the Berkshire Studies in History series. It went through two revisions (1973, 1986). His most recent book, Stalking the U-Boat: USAAF Offensive Antisubmarine Operations in World War II, was published by the Smithsonian Institution Press in 1995. He wasoften invited to present papers. Many of these were later published in anthologies by organizations such as the International Churchill Society (1990), the Eisenhower Library (1994), and the Wilson Center (one of his papers will be published in 1997). A planned magnum opus on the war ministry of Winston Churchill, based on years of research in the primary sources, remained unfinished at the time of Schoenfeld’s death.

Thousands of students, both undergraduate and graduate (he served as department graduate director at the university), experienced his scholarship, his wit and humor, and his sympathetic support. He kept in contact with many of them long after they had departed the university. His colleagues benefited from his organizational skills, his mastery of detail, and his ability to forge compromises in department life.

Maxwell Schoenfeld's death is a tragic loss to all who knew him as a teacher, scholar, and friend. He will be greatly missed by his university, his colleagues in the history department, and by thousands of former and current students.

Ronald Warloski
University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire

Ruth Kleinman

Ruth Kleinman, who taught in the history department of Brooklyn College from 1962 to 1993, died on November 7, 1995, of heart failure. She had struggled for more than 20 years with cancer and attendant complications. Born in Berlin on July 23, 1929, she emigrated with her parents to the United States in 1941. She received her A.B. summa cum laude from Barnard College in 1951; her M.A. and Ph.D. were from Columbia University.

A specialist in the history and culture of 17th-century France, Professor Kleinman taught at Bucknell University and Connecticut College before coming to Brooklyn College. Her early work, based on her M.A. and Ph.D. theses, dealt with the history of French charitable orders, chiefly the Salesians. Kleinman's doctoral dissertation, completed during 1955-56 with the support of a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Grenoble, was published in 1962 as Saint Francis de Sales and the Protestants. A French translation came out five years later. Continuing her investigations in the field, Ruth Kleinman published A Revolution in Charity, a study of the work of St. Vincent de Paul, in 1968.

As the years moved on, Ruth Kleinman's interests shifted into the area of the history of the French court and French royal politics generally. This was reflected in. the various papers she presented to the Columbia University Seminar in the History of Legal and Political Thought and Institutions and to various professional conferences, as well as in the articles she published between 1965 and 1990. Ruth Kleinman's chief work, done with support from the City University of New York and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, was a biography of Anne of Austria, mother of Louis XN of France. The book appeared in 1985, and was widely appreciated in both the American and French historical communities. A French translation of the biography was published in 1993.

Professor Kleinman was a member of the editorial board of French Historical Studies from 1980 to 1983. She also served in a number of college and departmental roles at Brooklyn College. She was on numerous committees and was the graduate deputy of the history department for several years. Committed to college teaching as she was, Ruth Kleinman was the managing editor of The Shaping of the Modern World, the department’s sourcebook for the college core curriculum.

Paula Sutter Fichtner
Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

Jordan Schwarz

The death of Jordan Abraham Schwarz from a massive heart attack on February 19, 1995, was a great loss to the community of historians and to his colleagues at Northern Illinois University in particular. Not only will we miss his acerbic wit and stubborn insistence that good history begins with getting the facts right and the story straight, but the field of 20th-century U.S. history will be poorer for some time to come for not having the political history of inflation in modern America that he was writing at the time of his death.

Born on September 13, 1937, to parents who had come to America as part of the Jewish diaspora unleashed by the Russian Revolution and the rise of Nazi Germany, Schwarz grew up in Chicago, Phoenix, and Brooklyn believing in the immigrant's dream of America as a land of freedom and opportunity. Schwarz's passion for his parents' adopted homeland led him to dedicate his life to its history. After receiving a B.A. in U.S. history from the City College of New York in 1959, he went on to do graduate work at Columbia University, where he earned an M.A. in 1960 and a PhD. in 1967. At Columbia, Professor William Leuchtenburg's seminars were the highlight of his graduate experience. A quarter of a century later, Schwarz still spoke of their influence on his thinking and told of how they had led him into the study of 20th-century politics and political economy that remained the focus of his research throughout his life.

The author of four books and the coauthor or editor of three others, Schwarz wrote his first major study on congressional politics of the Hoover period. Widely regarded as one of the best books on the domestic aspects of the Hoover presidency, his Interregnum of Despair: Hoover, Congress, and the Depression (1970) led him to his far-reaching and highly praised book, The Speculator: Bernard M. Baruch in Washington, 1917-1965 (1981), in which he studied Baruch’s influence on Herbert Hoover and his successors, and explored how that related to larger questions that centered on the mobilization of the U.S. economy in times of war and peace.

Convinced that historians had generally neglected the importance of inflation in modern America-and led by his research on Baruch to conclude that political expediency had made inflation a likely alternative to the dilemma of unemployment, despite ethical concerns about the damage that sharply rising prices could inflict upon American society-Schwarz set out at the beginning of the 1980s to write a political history of inflation in 20th-century America. Wanting to further deepen his understanding about the role that economic policy-making played in American politics, Schwarz set that study aside to write Adolf Berle and the Vision of an American Era (1987) and New Dealers: Power Brokers in the Age of Roosevelt (1993), both of which earned him well-deserved praise as one of the leading scholars in his field.

Combining a natural literary talent that lent grace and subtlety to his writing with an appetite for reading and research that a reviewer once termed "protean," Schwarz was fated throughout his career to discover more questions than anyone could hope to answer in the course of one academic lifetime. Health problems that might have slowed someone with less determination did little to daunt his efforts, even after a major heart attack caused him to set his work aside for several months in 1991. After finishing The New Dealers just two years later, Schwarz returned immediately to work on his history of inflation to explore the ways in which American policymakers alternated between restraining inflation and inducing higher prices as a solution to depression. Had he lived just a year or two longer, the completion of this book would have provided us with some striking new insights into the forces that helped to shape the fortunes of modem America.

Over the years, his passion for understanding America's economic and political processes led Schwarz to archives and libraries across the United States, Canada, and England. Widely regarded as one of the leading authorities on the relationship between government and the economy in 20th-century American history, he won research grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Hoover Presidential Library Association, and the Twentieth Century Fund, as well as appointments as a presidential research professor and a distinguished research professor from Northern Illinois University in 1986 and 1990.

Jordan Schwarz was devoted to his family and dedicated to combining teaching and research in ways that would explain complex historical problems to specialists at the same time as they made history more meaningful to general readers and his students. A few days after Schwarz died, one of his students described him in a letter to the student newspaper as "a man who genuinely loved history, teaching, and research, and made every minute in the classroom a stimulating one." Few of us can ask for a better benediction than that.

W. Bruce Lincoln
Marvin A. Powell
Northern Illinois University

Francis L. Loewenheim

Francis L. Loewenheim, professor emeritus of history at Rice University, and an authority on modern diplomatic and German history, died October 17, 1996, in Houston, Texas. He was 69.

Loewenheim was born in Nuremberg, Germany, on June 27, 1927, and migrated with his parents to the United States in 1934. After attending public schools in Cincinnati, he received degrees in history from the University of Cincinnati (B.A., 1947; M.A., 1948) and Columbia University (Ph.D., 1952). He taught at Princeton (1951-56), the College of William and Mary (1956-57), and the University of Illinois (1958). He also served for a year in the Historical Division of the U.S. Department of State (1958-59) before accepting an appointment at Rice in 1959. With the exception of leaves and visiting professorships, he remained at Rice through the remainder of his academic career. He retired this past summer.

Loewenheim's scholarship dealt primarily with recent diplomatic history. He edited and contributed to The Historian and theDiplomat (1967) and, with Gordon Craig, The Diplomats, 1939-79 (1994). He also edited Peace or Appeasement? Hitler, Chamberlain and the Munich Crisis (1965) and, with Harold D. Langley and Manfred Jonas, Roosevelt and Churchill: Their Secret Wartime Correspondence (1975, 1990). In addition, he contributed to 10 other books including Political Community and the NorthAtlantic Area: International Organization in the Light of Historical Experience (1957, 1968, 1969) and Daniel R. Beaver, ed., Some Pathways in Twentieth Century History: Essays inHonor of Reginald Charles McGrane (1969).

His teaching at Rice was inspired and inspiring. He required his students to immerse themselves in the correspondence of leading political and diplomatic figures of the 20th century. He then supplied the historical, cultural, and historiographical background that the students needed to begin to interpret the documents for themselves. Students found this process daunting but rewarding, and they honored Loewenheim with teaching awards in 1969 and 1991, and with a nomination for the AHA's Roelker Mentorship Award in 1991.

Beginning in the early 1970s, Loewenheim also wrote regularly for newspapers and magazines-altogether nearly 600 articles for some 50·papers in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. He began by sharing the results of his research in the Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower presidential libraries by reporting on evidence that was emerging for events that had taken place during World War II and the early years of the Cold War. He soon progressed from such reports to his own opinions on current events. But he always drew heavily on his knowledge of the recent past, reminding us of anniversaries of the Spanish Civil War, the Suez Crisis, or the Treaty of Versailles; remembering the birthdays of prominent men; pleading for open access to public records; condemning the publication of forgeries; and sharing his enthusiasms for baseball, music, and good teaching. He wrote most often for the Houston Post, the Cincinnati Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the Los AngelesHerald Examiner, but also for the Houston Chronicle, the Economist, and the Oregonian. Through these articles he shared his scholarship and learning as well as his commitment to remembering the past with many who could not have the privilege of attending his classes at Rice.

Ira Gruber
Rice University

Horace Samuel Merrill

Horace Samuel Merrill, 86, professor emeritus of the University of Maryland at College Park, died of heart failure on October 2, 1996, at his home in Cokesbury Village in Hockessin, Delaware. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Marion Galbraith Merrill. Born on January 31, 1910, and raised on a farm in Taylor, Wisconsin, Sam Merrill graduated from River Falls State College in 1931. He received his PhD. in history from the University of Wisconsin in 1942. After teaching at Washington and Lee University, American University, Stephens College, and Elmira College, Merrill joined the faculty at the University of Maryland in 1946 and taught there until his retirement in 1980. A Guggenheim Fellow in 1958-59, he also served on committees of the Organization of American Historians and the AHA and chaired the OAH's Frederick Jackson Turner Prize Committee in 1969-70.

Memories of farm years in the "drab and economically sluggish twenties" and of college years during the "angry Depression decade" shaped Merrill's vision of American history. When his first book, Bourbon Democracy of the Middle West, 1865-1896 (1954), was reissued in 1967, he reflected that it began as a graduate seminar paper in the mid-1930s, and that in expanding the paper into a book, “I retained my indignation and still do.” Less interested in how people acquired power than in how they used it “and whom they helped, Merrill wrote the critical biographies, William Freeman Vilas: Doctrinaire Democrat (1954) and Bourbon Leader: Grover Cleveland and the Democratic Party (1957). His last book, The Republican Command, 1897-1913 (1971), written with his wife Marion, re-examined Theodore Roosevelt’s relations with congressional leaders and found Roosevelt wanting as a reformer. The Republican Command earned Phi Alpha Theta’s National Book Award.

Merrill regularly offered a Tuesday night seminar at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland, to train graduate students in how to research and write history. He imparted the "Merrill rules" for clear and precise writing, which he had distilled from the recommendations of his own graduate adviser, William B. Hesseltine. Over the years, Merrill directed 26 doctoral dissertations and Some 80 master's theses. Although a demanding graduate adviser, he demonstrated as much concern for the personal well-being of his students as for the history they wrote. They regarded him as "adecent, gentle, caring, humble person who always kept things in perspective,” and as a man who “showed us the importance of maintaining our integrity in the academy as well as outside.”

The Merrills befriended many other fledgling historians they encountered while doing research at the Library of Congress, frequently welcoming them to their home for meals and conversation after the reading rooms had closed. Passionately committed to racial equality and integration, they participated in civil rights demonstrations in the Washington, D.C. area and joined Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, march from Selma to Montgomery in 1966. Sam Merrill's unwavering commitment to social and professional responsibility inspired his students and colleagues alike.

Donald A. Ritchie
U.S. Senate Historical Office

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