Past and Present: The Challenges of Modernity, from the Pre-Victorians to the Postmodernists (Encounter Classics)

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 2017. Past and Present: The Challenges of Modernity, from the Pre-Victorians to the Postmodernists (Encounter Classics). Encounter Books.
Review on Amazon: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” wrote William Faulkner. In Past and Present, an eminent American historian and cultural critic shows the truth of that statement. The common theme of the twenty essays gathered here is the… More

The people of the book: philosemitism in England, from Cromwell to Churchill

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 2011. The people of the book: philosemitism in England, from Cromwell to Churchill. New York: Encounter Books.
Review from Amazon: “The history of Judaism has for too long been dominated by the theme of antisemitism, reducing Judaism to the recurrent saga of persecution and the struggle for survival. The history of philosemitism provides a corrective to that… More

The Neoconservative Persuasion: Selected Essays, 1942-2009

– Kristol, Irving. 2011. The Neoconservative Persuasion: Selected Essays, 1942-2009. Washington, DC: Hudson Institute.
Review on Amazon: A brilliant collection of pieces, written between 1942 and his death in 2009, by Irving Kristol, one of the fathers of neoconservatism. This series of essays, many hard to find and reprinted for the first time since their initial appearance,… More

The Jewish Odyssey of George Eliot

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 2009. The Jewish Odyssey of George Eliot. Encounter Books.
Review from Amazon: It is one of the curiosities of history that the most remarkable novel about Jews and Judaism, predicting the establishment of the Jewish state, should have been written in 1876 by a non-Jew – a Victorian woman and a formidable… More

Book Edited: Jews and Gentiles

– Himmelfarb, Milton, and Gertrude Himmelfarb. 2007. Jews and Gentiles. New York: Encounter Books.
Abstract : “Includes information on anti-Semitism, art, Bible, capitalism, Catholics, Christianity, Christian Right, communists, Declaration of Independence, Democratic Party, demography, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hasidim, Hebrew language, Adolf… More

Book Edited: The Spirit of the Age: Victorian Essays

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude, ed. 2007. The Spirit of the Age: Victorian Essays. Yale University Press.
  Introduction: In 1831, at the age of twenty-five, John Stuart Mill published a series of essays (anonymously, as was the custom) in the radical weekly the Examiner, under the title “The Spirit of the Age.” The opening sentences of the first essay… More

The Moral Imagination From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 2006. The Moral Imagination  From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling. Ivan R. Dee.
Abstract: Chapter One Edmund Burke Apologist for Judaism? * One of the most moving experiences in my teaching career occurred after a seminar discussion of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. A student came up to me to explain that… More

The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 2004. The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments. Vintage: Vintage Books ed. edition.
Review on In an elegant, eminently readable work, one of our most distinguished intellectual historians gives us a brilliant revisionist history. The Roads to Modernity reclaims the Enlightenment–an extraordinary time bursting with new ideas… More

One Nation, Two Cultures

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 1999. One Nation, Two Cultures: A Searching Examination of American Society in the Aftermath of Our Cultural Revolution. Knopf.
Abstract: In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith described the “two different schemes or systems of morality” that prevail in all civilized societies. In every civilized society, in every society where the distinction of ranks has once been… More

Book Edited: Alexis de Tocqueville’s Memoir on Pauperism

– Drescher, Seymour(translator), Alexis de Tocqueville. 1968. Alexis de Tocqueville’s Memoir on Pauperism. Great Britain: Hartington Fine Arts Ltd, Lancing, West Sussex
Abstract: The Authors: Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-59) was born into an aristocratic family in Paris. He began a career in government service in 1827 and spent a year in America preparing a study of the penal system, which was published in 1833. The first… More


[in chronological order]

The Cheerful Pessimist by Irwin Stelzer

– Stelzer, Irwin, "The Cheerful Pessimist," Standpoint, February 26, 2020.
On December 30, as the year ended, so did the life of Gertrude Himmelfarb. She was 97. When I last saw her about a month earlier, it was at a small meeting she convened in her apartment in response to a request by a colleague for comments on the manuscript of… More

A Brilliant Life of Ideas, Insight, and Politics

– Johnson, Daniel, "A Brilliant Life of Ideas, Insight, and Politics," The Critic (UK), February 2020.
Excerpt: Gertrude Himmelfarb was born in Brooklyn, the 1920s were already roaring. When she died aged 97 on 30 December, the 2020s were just dawning. Her parents, Max and Bertha, were Jewish immigrants from Russia who spoke Yiddish at home. They were poor yet… More

My Mother Gertrude Himmelfarb by Bill Kristol

– Kristol, Bill, "My Mother, Gertrude Himmelfarb," Commentary, February, 2020.
Excerpt: My parents, Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb, moved to Washington from New York in 1987. My father wrote about their move in the New Republic because, needless to say, if you’re an intellectual, you don’t just move from one city to another,… More

Gertrude Himmelfarb and the Politics of Virtue

– "Gertrude Himmelfarb and the Politics of Virtue," The Economist, January 11, 2020.
The Bagehot column of the Economist on Gertrude Himmelfarb: The last of the great Victorian intellectuals died on December 30th. Gertrude Himmelfarb wasn’t a Victorian in the literal sense, either chronologically or geographically: she was born in… More

Remembering Gertrude Himmelfarb

– Charen, Mona, "Remembering Gertrude Himmelfarb," National Review, January 3, 2020.
Excerpt: When I emailed Mary Ellen Bork that our mutual friend, Gertrude Himmelfarb, a.k.a. Bea Kristol, had passed away at 97, she replied, after expressions of sadness, “Now she and Irving can resume their conversation.” Irving was Irving Kristol,… More

Gertrude Himmelfarb

– Terzian, Philip, "Gertrude Himmelfarb," Washington Examiner, January 2, 2020.
Excerpt: Gertrude Himmelfarb, who died last week in Washington, D.C., at 97, was everywhere described as a “historian of ideas,” which is certainly true. But she was also a philosopher, essayist, and scholar who wrote about the past with one eye… More

Remembering the Eminent Scholar of the Victorians

– Keiper, Adam, "Remembering the Eminent Scholar of the Victorians," The Bulwark, January 2, 2020.
Excerpt: ertrude Himmelfarb, a historian who helped resuscitate the reputation of the Victorians and a public intellectual who shaped neoconservatism, died this week at the age of 97. In a writing career astonishingly long—some seven decades separate her… More

The Last Victorian Sage by Myron Magnet

– Magnet, Myron, "The Last Victorian Sage," City Journal, January 2, 2020.
Gertrude Himmelfarb, our foremost historian of ideas and one of the nation’s greatest historians of any stamp, died Monday at 97. Though a Washingtonian for the last decades of her long and productive life, the Brooklyn-born Himmelfarb was among the last of… More

Telegraph (UK) Obituary

Telegraph (UK) Obituary, December 31, 2019.
GERTRUDE HIMMELFARB, the American historian, who has died aged 97, was known for her studies of the intellectual history of the Victorian era and as a conservative cultural critic, commenting in astringent terms on virtue, morality and modern values; she was… More

Times (UK) Obituary

– "Gertrude Himmelfarb," The Times, December 31, 2019.
When historians find their work cited in political debate, it is usually to provide an incidental gloss, a brief claim to intellectual backing well buried in a policy speech. The work of Gertrude Himmelfarb, however, a formidable historian of the life and… More


A Tribute to Gertrude Himmelfarb

– "A Tribute to Gertrude Himmelfarb," Institute for Political Studies, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, 2020 meeting.
From the Estoril Political Forum (Portugal) meeting of 2020, a (Zoom) tribute to the life and work of Gertrude Himmelfarb.

The Remoralization of Society: Ashbrook Center

– Gertrude Himmelfarb, "The Remoralization of Society" July 31, 2013.
Gertrude Himmelfarb, then Distinguished Professor Emeritus, City University (New York), delivers a speech for the Ashbrook Center’s Major Issues Lecture