Book Edited: Essays on Freedom and Power

Lord Acton. 1948. Essays on Freedom and Power. Boston Mass. The Beacon Press.

Abstract: Introduction WHEN LORD ACTON died in 1902 his name was unfamiliar to the general public. The assiduous reader of the London Times might have identified him as reputedly the most erudite man of his era. He might have remembered the rumors, some thirty years before, of… More

Lord Acton: A Study in Conscience and Politics

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 1952. Lord Acton: A Study in Conscience and Politics. Chicago Press: University of Chicago Press. Reissued: Acton Institute 2015.

Review on Amazon: Lord Acton is the author of the maxim, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In this intellectual biography, Gertrude Himmelfarb regards Acton as a man more of our age than of his own. He was a Liberal Catholic and a distinguished… More

Book Edited: On Population 

Malthus, Thomas Robert. 1960. On Population, New York: Modern Library.

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Book Edited: Essays on Politics and Culture

Mill, John Stuart. 1962. Essays on Politics and Culture, Gloucester, Mass. : Peter Smith.

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Victorian Minds: A Study of Intellectuals in Crisis and Ideologies in Transition

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 1968. Victorian Minds: A Study of Intellectuals in Crisis and Ideologies in Transition. Knopf.

Review on Amazon: Where “Victorianism” once conjured up an image of smugness, hypocrisy, and mindlessness, it now suggests quite the reverse: an age of high intellectual, moral, and spiritual tension, in which the typical problems of modernity were posed in their most acute… More

Book Edited: On Liberty

Mil, John Stuart. 1974. On Liberty.  London, United Kingdom: Penguin Books.

Abstract: ‘Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.’ To this ‘one very simple principle’ the whole of Mill’s essay On Liberty is dedicated. While many of his immediate predecessors and contemporaries, from Adam Smith to Godwin… More

On Liberty and Liberalism: The Case of John Stuart Mill

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 1974. On liberty and liberalism: the case of John Stuart Mill. New York: Knopf [distributed by Random House].

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The Idea of Poverty: England in the Early Industrial Age

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 1984. The Idea of Poverty: England in the Early Industrial Age. New York: Knopf.

Review on Amazon: When did poverty cease to be a ‘natural’ condition and become a ‘social problem’? When did the pauper become distinguished from the poor? What image of the poor made one group ‘deserving’? and another ‘undeserving’, and how… More

Marriage and Morals Among the Victorians

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 1987. Marriage and Morals Among the Victorians. Knopf.

Review on Amazon: In these brilliant essays, Gertrude Himmelfarb, one of America’s most respected scholars of Victorian thought and culture, explores the many facets, public and private, of the Victorian idea of morality. Incisively and provocatively she illuminates the “moral… More

The New History and the Old

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 1987. The New History and the Old. Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Review on For this updated edition of her acclaimed work on historians and the writing of history, Gertrude Himmelfarb adds four insightful and provocative essays dealing with changes in the discipline over the past twenty years. In examining the effects of postmodernism, the… More

Poverty and Compassion: The Moral Imagination of the Late Victorians

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 1991. Poverty and compassion: the moral imagination of the late Victorians. New York: Knopf.

Review on Amazon: In a provocative study that bristles with contemporary relevance, Himmelfarb demonstrates that the material and moral dimensions of poverty were inseparable in the minds of late Victorians, be they radical or conservative. Buy on Poverty and Compassion: The… More

On Looking Into the Abyss: Untimely Thoughts on Culture and Society

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. 1994. On Looking into the Abyss: Untimely Thoughts on Culture and Society. Knopf.

Review from Amazon: In these provocative essays, one of our most distinguished historians looks into the abyss of the present. Himmelfarb exposes the intellectual and spiritual impoverishment of some of our most fashionable current ideas–and shows how the vogue for historical… More

The De-moralization Of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values

Himmelfarb Gertrude. 1995. The De-Moralization of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Review on Amazon: As the debate over values grows ever more divisive, one of the most eminent historians of the Victorian era reminds readers that values are no substitute for virtues–and that the Victorian considered hard work, thrift, respectability, and charity virtues essential… 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 part of Democracy in America… 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 completely established, there have… 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 about human nature, politics,… 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 she had missed the previous… 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 commented on the title: “The… 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 Hitler, Holocaust, Islam,… 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 intellectual, who is generally regarded… 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, offers a wide ranging survey… 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 abysmal view, a reminder of the… More

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 intriguing, often unexpected… More