Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Sr.(February 27, 1888 - October 30, 1965 in Boston, Massachusetts) was an American historian who taught at Harvard University, pioneering social history and urban history. He was a Progressive Era intellectual who stressed material causes (such as economic profit and conflict between businessmen and farmers) and downplayed ideology and values as motivations for historical actors. He was highly influential as a director of PhD dissertations at Harvard for three decades, especially in the fields of social, women's, and immigration history. His son Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (1917-2007), also taught at Harvard and was also a noted historian.
Schlesinger's father Bernhard Schlesinger was a Prussian Jew, and his mother Kate (née Feurle) was an Austrian Catholic. The two joined the Protestant church together and emigrated to Xenia, Ohio, in 1872.
Arthur M. Schlesinger was born in Xenia, Ohio, and graduated from The Ohio State University in 1910. While a student at Ohio State, he was initiated into the Ohio Zeta chapter of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He took his Ph.D. in history at Columbia University, where he was influenced by both Herbert L. Osgood and Charles A. Beard. He taught at Ohio State and the University of Iowa before joining the faculty of Harvard University as a professor of history in 1924, succeeding Frederick Jackson Turner, teaching at Harvard until 1954. Harvard's Schlesinger Library in women's history is named after him and his wife Elizabeth, a noted feminist. He became an editor of the New England Quarterly in 1928...
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