Publication Date

April 1, 1991

Perspectives Section

In Memoriam

Harold W. Bradley

Harold W. Bradley, a retired Vanderbilt University professor and state legislator, died December 7, 1990, at the age of 86.

Born in Greenwood, RI, Dr. Bradley received his B.A. and M.A. in history from Pomona College in 1925 and 1926, respectively. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1932, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Dr. Bradley remained at Stanford until 1945, advancing from an instructor to an associate professor of history. In 1946 Dr. Bradley became dean of history at the Claremont Graduate School, and in 1954 he was appointed head of the history department at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.

Dr. Bradley taught at Vanderbilt until his retirement in 1972, when he became emeritus. After he retired he continued to teach part-time for several years at the University of Tennessee, Nashville and the J.B. Knowles Center for Senior Citizens.

Dr. Bradley’s specialty was American history, particularly the westward movement to the Far West and the Pacific. In 1943 he received the prestigious Albert J. Beveridge Award from the American Historical Association for his book The American Frontier in Hawaii, 1789–1843. Dr. Bradley was also the author of a two-volume History of the United States.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Bradley was active in state and local politics. He was a state representative in the Tennessee General Assembly in 1964–72 and was a member of the Metropolitan Charter Revision Commission from 1978 until his death. @DROP = Dr. Bradley was a member of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Southern Historical Association, and the American Studies Association. He was active in local chapters of the American Association of Retired Persons and the United Nations Association.

Survivors include a daughter, Anne Gronbach, of Sterling, IL; a son, David W. Bradley, of Nashville; and two grandchildren.

Michael S. Cheilik

Michael S. Cheilik, associate professor of history at Lehman College and co-director of the Bronx Institute for Regional and Community History Studies, died October 26, 1990, at the age of 53.

A specialist in ancient Greek and Roman history, Dr. Cheilik had taught at the Bronx campus for 25 years, having been appointed to the history department at Hunter College, Lehman’s predecessor, in 1965. Always noted for his ability to excite students on topics of ancient civilization, Dr. Cheilik was voted “Teacher of the Year” by Lehman students in 1988.

At the Bronx Institute, he conducted a major landmarks study of the borough. With photographer David Gillison, an associate professor of art at Lehman College, he co-taught a course on the photographic history of the Bronx and co-authored a series of publications on Bronx apartment houses and public buildings. Dr. Cheilik became co-director of the Institute in 1988.

As a scholar, he wrote on such diverse subjects as architecture in ancient times, the architecture of the Bronx, along with studies on the development of writing. At the time of his death he was completing a revision of a textbook on ancient history and a computer program related to the history of writing.

Dr. Cheilik received a B.A. magna cum laude in classics from City College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He also held M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in ancient civilization from The Johns Hopkins University and a fellowship from the American Academy in Rome. His language proficiency included Greek, Latin, French, Italian, German, Russian, and early Semitic languages.

He is survived by a brother, Phillip, of Rockville, MD. His companion of many years was Horace George Vincent.

Felix Gilbert

Felix Gilbert, professor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, died on February 14, 1991, at the age of 85.

Dr. Gilbert was born in Baden-Baden, Germany, on May 21, 1905. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Berlin in 1931. Dr. Gilbert came to the United States in 1936 and was a research analyst in the Office of Strategic Services and the Department of State. In 1945 he joined the Department of History at Bryn Mawr College, where he was a member of the faculty for sixteen years. Dr. Gilbert was appointed professor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1962, and he became emeritus in 1975.

Dr. Gilbert was the recipient of numerous honorary degrees in the United States and Europe. He received the American Historical Association’s first Award for Scholarly Distinction in 1985.

In addition to pursuing his own scholarship in a broad range of subjects, Dr. Gilbert dedicated himself to other scholars. Historians of several generations and many fields turned to him for advice, and he always remained open to new ideas and to fresh requests for help.

Dr. Gilbert’s most recent book, published in 1990, was History: Politics or Culture? Reflections on Ranke and Burckhardt. His other works include To the Farewell Address: Ideas of Early American Foreign Policy, for which he received a Bancroft Prize in 1962; Machiavelli and Guicciardini: Politics and History in Sixteenth-Century Florence; History: Choice and Commitment; A European Past: Memoirs 1905–1945; and The Pope, His Banker, and Venice, to be reprinted this fall by the Harvard University Press.

He is survived by his wife, the former Mary Raymond.

Abraham Phineas Nasatir

Abraham Phineas Nasatir, professor emeritus, San Diego State University, died on January 18, 1991, at the age of 86.

Dr. Nasatir started his career in history at the age of 14, when he entered the University of California, Berkeley. He won his B.A. in History with honors in 1921, and received his M.A. in 1922. In 1923–24 Dr. Nasatir held a one-year teaching assistantship, and in 1924–25 he travelled in Spain on a Native Sons of the Golden West travelling fellowship. His Ph.D. in history was awarded in 1926, when he was 22.

After completing his doctorate, Dr. Nasatir worked at the University of Iowa as an instructor in 1926–27. He went to San Diego State College in 1928, and remained there until 1974. During his tenure at San Diego, the former normal school evolved into San Diego State University. Although Dr. Nasatir retired in 1974, he continued to teach for a year at the University of San Diego and finally left the classroom at age 75.

Dr. Nasatir’s specialty was the Spanish Empire in the southeastern and midwestern United States. He was a Boltonian, one of the students inspired by the late H.E. Bolton to look beyond the narrow provincialism often found in the study of American history.

Dr. Nasatir’s dissertation was entitled Trade and Diplomacy in Spanish Illinois, 1762–1792. His many books include Inside Story of the Gold Rush; French Activities in California: An Archival Calendar Guide; Before Lewis and Clark; Latin America: Development of Its Civilization; Manuel Lisa; Trade and Commerce in New Orleans during the French and Indian War; Early French Consuls: Their Correspondence in the Archives Nationales: A Calendar Guide; Early French Consuls in the United States; Pedro Vial and the Roads to Santa Fe (with Noel Loomis); Spanish War Vessels on the Mississippi; Borderlands in Retreat; and The Imperial Osages: Spanish-Indian Diplomacy in the Mississippi Valley (with Gilbert C. Din).

Dr. Nasatir received numerous awards and fellowships, including a Social Science Research Council Fellowship in Spain and France, a Fulbright Fellowship in France, a Huntington Library Fellowship, and a Fulbright lecturing position at the University of Chile. In 1966 he was named by the Trustees of the California State College System as Distinguished Professor, in 1969 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of Judaism, in 1974 the California Historical Society awarded him the Henry R. Wagner Medal, and he won the Best Book Award from the Westerners in 1977. In addition, a Nasatir Chair in History, sponsored by the Lipinsky Institute for Judaic Studies, was established at San Diego State University.

In addition to teaching and conducting research, Dr. Nasatir served as Vice Consul for Paraguay in 1936–50 and for Ecuador in 1942–44. He was secretary of the San Diego Consular Corps for ten years.

Dr. Nasatir held memberships in a host of scholarly organizations, including the Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies, the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, the Western History Association, the Conference on Latin American History, and the American Association of University Professors, as well as a 50-year membership in the American Historical Association. He was vice-president of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association in 1962–63, president of the Pacific Coast Branch in 1963, president of Phi Alpha Theta in 1968–70, and a member of the board of directors of the San Diego Historical Society.

Dr. Nasatir is survived by his wife, the former Ida Hirsch; his brother George, Los Angeles; and his sister, Frances Greenleigh, NY.

Dr. Eugene K. Chamberlin
San Diego, CA

Jim Berry Pearson

Jim Berry Pearson, 66, a professor of history at the University of North Texas, died in June 1990.

Dr. Pearson received his B.A. (1947) and his M.A. (1949) from the University of North Texas. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1955.

Dr. Pearson was associate vice-president for academic affairs and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Texas from 1971 to 1981. Before teaching at the University of North Texas, Dr. Pearson was assistant vice-president for academic affairs, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. He had also taught at the University of Texas at Arlington and at Midwestern University.

Dr. Pearson was a member of various historical organizations, including the American Historical Association. He co-authored a popular Texas history secondary school textbook, Texas: The Land and Its People, which has been revised several times. He also edited a two-volume study, with Edgar Fuller, entitled Education in the States. His major studies were The Maxwell Land Grant and A New Mexico Mining Story: The Red River Twining Area. At the time of his death he was preparing a biography of the pioneer aviatrix, Edna Gardner White.

A student of Walter Prescott Webb, Dr. Pearson was profoundly influenced by his mentor’s ideas. He taught courses using the Webb frontier theory, and his books reflected the older man’s views. Dr. Pearson will be remembered as a fair, patient, optimistic gentleman of integrity.

William A. Renzi

William A. Renzi, 49, associate professor of history, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, died on November 30, 1990.

Dr. Renzi received his B.A. from Washington College in 1962 and earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland in 1964 and 1968, respectively. He was a lecturer at the University of California, Davis from 1968 to 1969, and had been a member of the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin since 1969.

Dr. Renzi was an expert in Italian and military history. His articles on Italy’s entrance into World War I appeared in The Historian and The American Historical Review. His study of Russian and British diplomacy at the onset of World War I appeared in the Journal of Modern History, and his examination of the Vatican and World War I was published in the Cambridge Historical Journal.

Dr. Renzi’s book, In the Shadow of the Sword: Italy’s Neutrality and Entrance into the Great War, 1914–15, appeared in 1988. At the time of his death, he had finished the manuscript for a book to be entitled Never Look Back: A History of World War II in the Pacific, to be published by M.E. Sharpe. He had also recently become editor of Garland Press’s ambitious project, Encyclopedia of World War II in the Pacific.

Dr. Renzi was known as an excellent teacher. His classes on World War II in Europe and in the Pacific attracted hundreds of students each semester. Those who listened to his graphic lectures on the military history of the war marveled at Renzi’s mastery of detail and his sparkling narrative. His large following among undergraduate and graduate students, present and past, speaks to the great influence of a master teacher.

Dr. Renzi is survived by his mother, Olga Renzi, of Baltimore, MD, and a sister, Judy Brown, of Harrisburg, PA.

J. David Hoeveler
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

A.J.P. Taylor

A.J.P. (Alan John Percivale) Taylor, a well-known British historian and an honorary fellow at Oxford University, died on September 7, 1990, at the age of 84.

Educated at Bootham School, York, and Oriel College, Oxford, Dr. Taylor specialized in modern European history. He lectured at Manchester University for nine years, then became a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, where he remained until his retirement in 1976.

Dr. Taylor was known for his controversial interpretations of the origins of European wars in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His many written pieces range from well-researched scholarly works on the power struggle between European nations during the past two centuries to numerous newspaper and magazine articles and works for the general reader. In The Origins of the Second World War, one of his most controversial works, Dr. Taylor departed from the traditional depiction of Adolph Hitler, presenting him instead as a relatively traditional, fallible German leader who blundered into war partly because of the mixed signals he was receiving from the Allies. Other major works include The Italian Problem in European Diplomacy 1847–49; The Course of German History; The Hapsburg Monarchy 1809–1918; From Napoleon to Stalin; The Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1848–1918; Bismarck: The Man and the Statesman; The First World War; Politics in Wartime; Europe: Grandeur and Decline; The Second World War; The Last of Old Europe; How Wars Begin; Revolutions and Revolutionaries; and How Wars End.

Known for his committed radical views, Dr. Taylor was also a professional journalist, political commentator and loyal member of the Labour party. The papers for which he worked included the Sunday Express, the Daily Herald, the Guardian, and the Observer. Dr. Taylor’s outspoken candor on political issues often made him a figure of contention among his academic colleagues.