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… 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… 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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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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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,… 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… 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… 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… 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,… 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… 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… 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… More


Review of Community of the Free by Yves Simon

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Community of the Free, by Yves Simon." Commentary Magazine, June, 1948.
Excerpt: Presented with John Dewey’s A Common Faith—a faith independent of sect, class, or creed—Santayana is supposed to have remarked, “a very common faith indeed.” Yves… More

The American Revolution in the Political Theory of Lord Acton

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The American Revolution in the Political Theory of Lord Acton." The Journal of Modern History 21, no. 4. 1949.
Abstract: LORD ACTON once complained that he ~agreed with no one and no one Li agreed with him. This should serve as a counsel of caution to his present-day interpreters. In the flush of… More

The Prophets of the New Conservatism

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Study of Man: The Prophets of the New Conservatism." Commentary Magazine, January, 1950.
Excerpt: Conservatism Revisited, by the Pulitzer-prize poet Peter Viereck, is only one of a small tide of recent books in the same vein. Someone has recently remarked that there are… More

Political Thinking: Ancients vs. Moderns

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Study of Man: The Prophets of the New Conservatism." Commentary Magazine, July, 1951.
Abstract: From the heavy volume of writings on political theory published in recent months, Gertrude Himmelfarb selects for discussion a number of books which represent two extreme—and… More

On the Horizon: Henry Adams’ Skeptic Faith in Democracy

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "On the Horizon: Henry Adams’ Skeptic Faith in Democracy." Commentary Magazine, December, 1952.
Abstract: Scion of the presidential Founding Fathers, Henry Adams himself had grave doubts about the future of democracy as he observed its operations in the America of his time, and he… More

Ex-Prodigy: My Childhood and Youth, by Norbert Wiener

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Ex-Prodigy: My Childhood and Youth, by Norbert Wiener." Commentary Magazine, May, 1953.
Excerpt: One of the famous exhibits in the 19th century’s showcase of infant prodigies is the four-year-old Macaulay who, when asked how he was feeling after having been scalded, replied:… More

Name and Address, by T. S. Matthews

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Name and Address, by T. S. Matthews." Commentary Magazine, July, 1960.
Excerpt: Some time ago there was an exchange program for English and American journalists, in the course of which a member of the staff of the Economist was briefly attached to Time.… More

The Politics of Democracy: The English Reform Act of 1867

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Politics of Democracy: The English Reform Act of 1867." Journal of British Studies 6, no. 1. 1966.
Abstract: The Reform Act of 1867 was one of the decisive events, perhaps the decisive event, in modern English history. It was this act that transformed England into a democracy and made… More


– Kelley, Robert, and Gertrude Himmelfarb. "Correspondence." Journal of British Studies 6, no. 2. 1967.
Abstract: To the Editor of The Journal of British Studies: I am writing to make certain that someone, at least, enters a protest against Professor Gertrude Himmelfarb’s extraordinary… More

Beatrice Webb: A Life, 1858-1943, by Kitty Muggeridge and Ruth Adam

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Beatrice Webb: A Life, 1858-1943, by Kitty Muggeridge and Ruth Adam." Commentary Magazine. 1968.
Abstract: In an earlier biography, Margaret Cole, a long-time friend and political associate, wrote that Beatrice Webb, like “happy countries,” had “almost no personsonal history.”… More

Bentham Scholarship and the Bentham “Problem”

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Bentham Scholarship and the Bentham "Problem"." The Journal of Modern History 41, no. 2. 1969.
Abstract: Bentham has finally, indubitably, “made it.” Not as he had hoped to make it in his own time, as the reformer, indeed transformer, of society, law, and philosophy; nor… More

Commitment and Ideology: The Case of the Second Reform Act

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Commitment and Ideology: The Case of the Second Reform Act." Journal of British Studies 9, no. 1. 1969.
Abstract: Whatever our differences, I am grateful to F. B. Smith for what must surely be the best academic news of the year: that under- graduates somewhere, if only in Australia, can still… More

Mayhew’s Poor: A Problem of Identity

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Mayhew's Poor: A Problem of Identity." Victorian Studies 14, no. 3. 1971.
Abstract: THE CONDITION OF THE PEOPLE” WAS AS MUCH A SET TOPIC FOR VICTORIANS as it has since become for historians.’ It was the subject of Royal Com- mission Reports and… More

The Writing of Social History: Recent Studies of 19th Century England

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Writing of Social History: Recent Studies of 19th Century England." Journal of British Studies 11, no. 1. 1971.
Abstract: As a genre, social history is far from new. But the claims now being made for it and the vogue it is presently enjoying are new.2 And it is this enlargement of claim and fame that… More

The Intellectual in Politics: The Case of the Webbs

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Intellectual in Politics: The Case of the Webbs." Journal of Contemporary History 6, no. 3. 1971.
Abstract: In some obvious respects, the Webbs were the very quintessence of the ‘intellectual in politics’, the latter-day version of the philosopher-king. They themselves were… More

The Unknown Mayhew, by Eileen Yeo and E.P. Thompson

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Unknown Mayhew, by Eileen Yeo and E.P. Thompson." Commentary Magazine. 1971.
Abstract: The historian who does not subscribe to the creed of “relevance,” who believes, indeed, that the best history is written without thought of contemporary relevance, is… More

The “New History”

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The 'New History'." Commentary Magazine. 1975.
Abstract: A sociologist friend recently complained to me of the amorphous state of his discipline. Sociology, he said, is totally undefined, both as to subject matter and methodology; no… More

Reply to Louis B. Zimmer on Mill’s ‘Negative Argument’

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Reply to Louis B. Zimmer on Mill's 'Negative Argument'." Journal of British Studies 17, no. 1. 1977.
Abstract: Dr. Zimmer’s misreading of my book on Mill is far less important than his misreading of Mill himself. Let me dispose of the lesser issue first. I did not “fault”… More

The Conservative Imagination: Michael Oakeshott

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude, "The Conservative Imagination: Michael Oakeshott." The American Scholar 44, no. 3. 1975.
Excerpt: THE TITLE OF HIS FIRST VOLUME OF ESSAYS, published in 1950, Lionel Trilling perfectly captured the spirit of the time. “The Liberal Imagination” – not “the… More

In Defense of Progress

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "In Defense of Progress." Commentary Magazine. 1980.
Abstract: The idea of Progress—Progress with a capital “P”—has been in disrepute for a long time now. And with good reason, one would think. The experiences of this century hardly… More

In Defense of the Two Cultures

– HIMMELFARB, GERTRUDE. "In Defense of the Two Cultures." The American Scholar50, no. 4. 1981.
Abstract: Next year will be the centenary of Charles Darwin’s death, and the occasion will, no doubt, be properly memorialized. But it will be a very different kind of occasion from… More

William Cobbett: “An English episode”

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The 'New History'." New Criterion, October, 1982.
Excerpt: The English have had a penchant for the most unlikely heros, heros they’ve honored more—in the classical meaning of that much abused phrase—in the breach than in the… More

Who now reads Macaulay?

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Who now reads Macaulay?" New Criterion, December, 1982.
Excerpt: Who now reads Bolingbroke?” Burke asked, thus casually, irrevocably, consigning him to the ash-heap of history. So the modern historian may be tempted to ask, “Who now reads… More

The Englishness of England

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Englishness of England." New Criterion, May 1983.
Excerpt: Reviewing The English World in the Times Literary Supplement, the historian Theodore Zeldin wrote that it confirmed his view that “a national perspective cannot be sustained in… More

Engels in Manchester: Inventing the Proletariat

– HIMMELFARB, GERTRUDE. "Engels in Manchester: Inventing the Proletariat." The American Scholar 52, no. 4. 1983.
Abstract: Frederick Engels, writing in 1845, described Chartism as only one manifestation of the “social war” that was being waged in England, a war that was bound to issue in a… More

Marriage and Morals Among the Victorians

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Marriage and Morals Among the Victorians." New Criterion, November, 1983.
Excerpt : When Lytton Strachey was asked to propose a toast to his Eminent Victorians, he quoted an eminent Victorian biographer: “When I hear men called ‘judicious’ I suspect them;… More

Denigrating the Rule of Reason

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Denigrating the Rule of Reason." Harpers Magazine. April, 1984.
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“Supposing History Is a Woman—What Then?”

– HIMMELFARB, GERTRUDE. ""Supposing History Is a Woman—What Then?"" The American Scholar 53, no. 4. 1984.
Abstract: Supposing, truth is a woman – what then?” This sentence of Nietzsche’s may well be the most tantalizing opening of any philosophical text. It is also the prelude… More

From Clapham to Bloomsbury: A Genealogy of Morals

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "From Clapham to Bloomsbury: A Genealogy of Morals." Commentary Magazine, February, 1985.
Excerpt: “For the Englishman,” Nietzsche wrote in 1889, “morality is not yet a problem.” The English thought that religion was no longer needed as a “guarantee of morality,”… More

The “Real” Marx

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The 'Real' Marx." Commentary Magazine, April, 1985.
Excerpt: It used to be said that the three great giants of modern times—indeed the creators of modernity—were Marx, Darwin, and Freud. In the past few decades we have witnessed major… More

In Defense of the Victorians

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "In Defense of the Victorians." The Wilson Quarterly (1976-) 12, no. 3. 1988.
Abstract: “Manners and Morals” – the expression is peculiarly, unmistakably Victorian. Not “manners” alone: Lord Chesterfield in the 18th century was fond of… More

Manners into Morals: What the Victorians Knew

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Manners into Morals: What the Victorians Knew." The American Scholar 57, no. 2. 1988.
Excerpt: “Manners and morals”- the expression is peculiarly, unmistakably Victorian. Not “manners” alone: Lord Chesterfield in the eighteenth century was fond of… More

Victorian Values/Jewish Values

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Victorian Values/Jewish Values." Commentary Magazine, February, 1989.
Excerpt: In her recent election campaign, replying to a television interviewer who observed, rather derisively, that she seemed to be approving of “Victorian values,” Margaret Thatcher… More

Some Reflections on the New History

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Some Reflections on the New History." The American Historical Review 94, no. 3. 1989.
Excerpt: WHEN THIS SUBJECT, THE NEW HISTORY, WAS FIRST PROPOSED to me, I thought I understood what it meant. I am no longer so sure. The varieties of new history have proliferated so… More

The Right to Misquote

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Right to Misquote." Commentary Magazine. April, 1991.
Excerpt: It is not often that the Supreme Court is presented with a case in which the evidence consists of such titillating remarks, allegedly made by the plaintiff, as his likening himself… More

Of Heroes, Villains, and Valets

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Of Heroes, Villains, and Valets." Commentary Magazine. June, 1991.
Excerpt: “No man is a hero to his valet.” The dictum is generally attributed to the Duke of Condé in the reign of Louis XIV. Hegel amplified it to read: “No man is a hero to his… More

The Abyss Revisited

Abstract: A NOW CLASSIC ESSAY, “On the Teaching of Modern Literature,” Lionel Trilling described his students’ response to his own course on modern literature. I asked… More

Tradition and Creativity In The Writing of History

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Tradition and Creativity In The Writing of History." First Things, November, 1992.
Abstract: For the historian, as for the philosopher, the quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns is being superseded by a quarrel between the Moderns and the Postmoderns. If the great… More

Liberty: “One Very Simple Principle”?

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude.  "Liberty: "One Very Simple Principle"?" The American Scholar 62, no. 4. 1993.
Excerpt: The end of the Cold War has liberated us in more ways than we might have thought, liberated us from the tyranny of Communism and liberated us to reexamine the liberalism that is… More

The Dark and Bloody Crossroads: Where Nationalism and Religion Meet

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Dark and Bloody Crossroads: Where Nationalism and Religion Meet." The National Interest, no. 32. 1993.
Abstract: It was in a freshman history course shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War that I was formally introduced to the concept of nationalism. The war, the professor… More

The Politics of Dissent

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Politics of Dissent." Commentary Magazine. July, 1994.
Excerpt: In Culture and Anarchy, written more than a century ago, Matthew Arnold described a phenomenon that we tend to think is unique to our times rather than his. He expressed it in… More

Taylor-Made History

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Taylor-Made History." The National Interest, no. 36. 1994.
Abstract: PARADOXICAL perverse contrary, unconventional, A. J. P. Taylor is a biographer’s dream. The oddities of his personal life are fascinating, if not always edifying: his three… More

What To Do About Education: The Universities

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "What To Do About Education: The Universities." Commentary Magazine, October, 1994.
Abstract: Continuing the series we inaugurated last month with James Q. Wilson’s article on crime, we here move on to the issue of education. It is now widely recognized that this country… More

Academic Advocates

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Academic Advocates." Commentary Magazine, September, 1995.
Excerpt: Recent discussions of academic freedom have focused on one particularly egregious case of professorial racism and anti-Semitism. In class and in public lectures, Professor Leonard… More

The Gender Card Loses

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Gender Card Loses." The Weekly Standard. October 16, 1995.
Excerpt: Race trumped gender” — for me this comment, by a professor of government quoted in the Washington Post, is the most telling observation on the Simpson verdict. For… More

Is ‘Conservative Revolution’ An Oxymoron?

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Is 'Conservative Revolution' An Oxymoron?." The Weekly Standard, December 18, 1995.
Excerpt: Budget reform, welfare reform, Medicare reform — this formidable combination of reforms has been proudly heralded by a new breed of conservatives as a “conservative… More

The Christian University: A Call To Counterrevolution

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Christian University: A Call To Counterrevolution." First Things. January, 1996.
Abstract: It is well to remember, as we contemplate the relation of the university and church, that the Protestant Reformation was started by a professor in a university. Years later Luther… More

Second Thoughts On Civil Society

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Second Thoughts On Civil Society." The Weekly Standard, September 8, 1996.
Excerpt: I would think that it is not just contrariness on my part that makes me wince, these days, on hearing talk of civil society. Liberals and conservatives, communitarians and… More

A Neo-Luddite on the Internet

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "A Neo-Luddite on the Internet." Prospect Magazine. December, 1996.
Excerpt: On the subject of our latest technological revolution, cyberspace, I am a neo-Luddite. Not a true Luddite; my Luddism is qualified, compromised. I revel in the word-processor; I am… More

On the Future of Conservatism

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "On the Future of Conservatism." Commentary Magazine. February, 1997.
Excerpt: The November 1996 election and a number of other recent events have offered an opportunity for reassessment among conservatives. At issue is not only the meaning of the election… More

The Paradox of Thomas Carlyle: How to Read a Provocateur and Why We Should

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Paradox of Thomas Carlyle: How to Read a Provocateur and Why We Should." The Weekly Standard, February 24, 1997.
Excerpt: More than half a century ago, Lionel Trilling wrote an essay on T. S. Eliot’s The Idea of a Christian Society, calling upon his liberal and Marxist friends to be more… More

For the Love of Country

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "For the Love of Country," Commentary Magazine, May, 1997.
Excerpt: “The era of big government is over,” President Clinton announced in his State of the Union address in January 1995, responding to the mandate of the people as expressed in the… More

Professor Narcissus

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Professor Narcissus." The Weekly Standard, June 2, 1997.
Excerpt: Not so long ago, it was TV talk shows that were being excoriated for their wanton exhibitionism as they competed for the honor of producing the most brazen or degrading revelation… More

The Age of Philanthropy

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Age of Philanthropy." The Wilson Quarterly (1976-) 21, no. 2. 1997.
Abstract: Cival society” has become the rallying cry of liberals and conservatives alike, especially in the wake of the recent reform of the welfare system. The devolution of welfare… More

Revolution in the Library

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Revolution in the Library." The American Scholar 66, no. 2. 1997.
Access through JSTOR: Revolution in the Library

Beyond Method

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Beyond Method". What's Happened to the Humanities? Edited by Kernan Alvin. Princeton University Press, 1997.
Abstract: For the journalist, the medium is the message. For the scholar, the method is the message. On this one proposition, traditional and nontraditional scholars may agree. Methodology… More

“A Man’s Own Household His Enemies”

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "A Man’s Own Household His Enemies." Commentary Magazine. July/August, 1999.
Excerpt: A passage in the Talmud reads: Rabbi Eliezer the Great said: . . . As the footsteps of the messiah approach, shamelessness will spread. . . . Schoolrooms will be used for lechery,… More

J. H. Hexter (25 May 1910-8 December 1996)

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "J. H. Hexter (25 May 1910-8 December 1996)." Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 143, no. 2. 1999.
Abstract: There are not many historians who preface a collection of essays with the statement that three of them had been rejected by the leading professional journals in the field. One of… More

Responses to Fukuyama

– Mansfield, Harvey, E. O. Wilson, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Robin Fox, Robert J. Samuelson, and Joseph S. Nye. "Responses to Fukuyama." The National Interest, no. 56. 1999.
Abstract: Gertrude Himmelfarb: I suffer from the historian. the professional Philosophers deformation of the historian. Philosophers can see the eternal verities that transcend his- tory.… More

The Election and the Culture Wars

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Election and the Culture Wars." Commentary Magazine. May, 2000.
Excerpt: A funny thing happened on the way to the presidential nominations this year. We discovered not only that the candidates were not quite what we thought them to be (this happens in… More

Lord Acton: in Pursuit of First Principles

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Lord Acton: in Pursuit of First Principles." New Criterion. June,  2000.
Excerpt: Almost fifty years ago, introducing my biography of Lord Acton, I wrote: “He is of this age, more than of his. He is, indeed, one of our great contemporaries.” A decade and a… More

Two Nations or Two Cultures?

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Two Nations or Two Cultures?" Commentary Magazine. January, 2001.
Exceprt: I entirely (well, almost entirely) agree with Terry Teachout. The election has confirmed, even dramatized, the cultural divide in our nation—a cultural divide, as he points out,… More

Judging Richard Posner

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Judging Richard Posner." Commentary Magazine. February, 2002.
Excerpt: Declaration of interest: I am one of the many public intellectuals criticized in Richard A. Posner’s latest book, Public Intellectuals: A Study of Decline Indeed, I apparently… More

The Trilling Imagination

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Trilling Imagination." The Weekly Standard, February 14, 2005
Excerpt: A Recent casual, dismissive reference to Lionel Trilling recalled to me the man who was the most eminent intellectual figure of his time–certainly in New York intellectual… More

Glorious, Indeed: What the English Revolution of 1688 Meant

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Glorious, Indeed: What the English Revolution of 1688 Meant." The Weekly Standard, July 23, 2007.
Excerpt: Michael Barone is a distinguished political analyst, commentator, journalist, and occasional historian, the author of two books on recent American history. He has now ventured on a… More

Reflections on Burke’s Reflections

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Reflections on Burke's Reflections." New Criterion, February, 2009.
Excerpt: Edmund Burke was, and still is, a provocative thinker—a provocation in his own day, as in ours. At a time when most right-minded (which is to say, left-inclined) English literati… More

Sense and Sensibility: No Good Deed of Hume’s went Unpunished by Rousseau

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Sense and Sensibility: No Good Deed of Hume's went Unpunished by Rousseau." The Weekly Standard, March 30, 2009.
Excerpt: “No man is a hero to his valet,” the old adage goes. Nor to his biographer. And eminent men–poets, statesmen, or philosophers–are all the more vulnerable.… More

Irving Kristol’s Neoconservative Persuasion

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Irving Kristol’s Neoconservative Persuasion." Commentary Magazine, February, 2011.
Excerpt: The memoir by my husband introducing his last volume of essays in 1995, Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea, opens with a typical Irving Kristol quip. Is there such a… More

Lionel Trilling and the Critical Imagination

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Lionel Trilling & the Critical Imagination." New Criterion. October, 2011.
Excerpt: Why Trilling Matters: it is a curiously defensive title for a book about a man who was a star in the much-acclaimed circle of “New York intellectuals,” who delivered the first… More

Civil Society Reconsidered: Little Platoons are Just the Beginning

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Civil Society Reconsidered: Little Platoons are Just the Beginning." The Weekly Standard, April 23, 2012.
Excerpt: In the conclusion to Coming Apart, after describing a society that is in even greater disarray (literally, coming apart) than we had supposed, Charles Murray holds out one hope… More

Our Dignified Constitution: Fourth of July Reflections on the Queen’s Jubilee

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Our Dignified Constitution: Fourth of July Reflections on the Queen’s Jubilee." The Weekly Standard,  July 16, 2012.
Excerpt: It was perhaps inevitable that our Fourth of July celebrations last week might have seemed anti-climactic after the four-day festivities a month ago accompanying the Queen’s… More

Compassionate Conservatism Properly Understood

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Compassionate Conservatism Properly Understood." The Weekly Standard, January 14, 2013.
Excerpt: Defeat, like death, concentrates the mind wonderfully. It also liberates the mind. People venture to think the unthinkable, or at least, the impermissible. A new generation of… More

The Victorian Lady: Margaret Thatcher’s Virtues

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Victorian Lady: Margaret Thatcher's Virtues." The Weekly Standard, April 22, 2013.
Excerpt: I was at a reception at the British embassy here in Washington in the early 1990s, I believe, when I was introduced to Margaret Thatcher by John O’Sullivan, her friend and former… More

Meet Mr. Bagehot: How ‘The Greatest Victorian’ Speaks to Us

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Meet Mr. Bagehot: How ‘The Greatest Victorian’ Speaks to Us." The Weekly Standard,  September 9, 2013.
Excerpt: Walter Bagehot (1826-1877)—“the greatest Victorian,” as an eminent historian of that period memorialized him, editor of the Economist, author of The English Constitution,… More

Winston vs. the Webbs: A Century-old Precursor to the Obamacare Debate

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Winston vs. the Webbs: A Century-old Precursor to the Obamacare Debate." The Weekly Standard, April 21, 2014.
Excerpt: The debate over Obamacare may remind a student of British history of the debate in Britain over the National Insurance Act of 1911, which was in effect until the initiation of the… More

Evolution and Ethics, Revisited

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Evolution and Ethics, Revisited." The New Atlantis, no. 42. 2014.
Excerpt: That is John Henry Newman in The Idea of a University (1852) referring to the sciences of his day, which threatened to dominate and even overwhelm theological education in the… More

From Robespierre to ISIS: Edmund Burke’s War on Terror—and Ours

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "From Robespierre to ISIS: Edmund Burke’s War on Terror—and Ours." The Weekly Standard, September, 29 2014.
Excerpt: he war on terror is over, the president assured us a year ago. Now, we are told, that war is very much with us and will be pursued with all due diligence. The president was… More

Culture’s Champion: On Rereading ‘Culture and Anarchy’

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Culture’s Champion: On Rereading ‘Culture and Anarchy’." The Weekly Standard, September 2, 2016.
Excerpt: It was by chance that my first reading of Culture and Anarchy with my students coincided with the centenary of its publication. But it was not by chance that I chose to read it… More

Einstein in Theory: The Scientist as Public Intellectual

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Einstein in Theory: The Scientist as Public Intellectual." The Weekly Standard, May 11, 2015.
Abstract: This year is the centenary of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, and the occasion for revisiting that momentous discovery by paying tribute to one of the most… More

Into the Abyss: From the Halls of Academia to the Cover of Vanity Fair

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude, "Into the Abyss: From the Halls of Academia to the Cover of Vanity Fair," The Weekly Standard, July 20, 2015.
Excerpt: The Caitlyn (née Bruce) Jenner case has engendered if not a new subject at least a newly publicized and sensationalized one. For an old-timer like myself, transgenderism is… More

In Memory of Amy Kass

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "In Memory of Amy Kass." The Weekly Standard, August 20, 2015.
Excerpt: Amy Kass’s family and friends, students and colleagues, will testify to her many virtues—her love and devotion to husband, children, and grandchildren (so amply reciprocated by… More

‘Der Alte Jude’: The Jewish Life of Benjamin Disraeli

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "'Der Alte Jude': The Jewish Life of Benjamin Disraeli." The Weekly Standard, May 6, 2016.
Excerpt A recent book in the Yale University Press series on “Jewish Lives,” a biography of the nineteenth-century British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, opens provocatively:… More

The Jewish Question: Then and Now

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "The Jewish Question: Then and Now." The Weekly Standard, June 20, 2016.
Excerpt: Since the Charlie Hebdo affair a year-and-a-half ago and the gratuitous, as it seemed, attack on the kosher supermarket in Paris, the condition of Jews in France has been a subject… More

In Search of Mrs. T: The Elusive Woman behind Thatcherism

– Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "In Search of Mrs. T: The Elusive Woman behind Thatcherism." The Weekly Standard, March 6, 2017.
Excerpt: David Cannadine dedicates his biography of Margaret Thatcher: “In memory of Mrs T.” But that Mrs T is not, as one might suppose, Mrs. Thatcher, the longest-serving prime… More


Review: Victorian Minds by Gertrude Himmelfarb

– Gordon, Scott. Victorian Studies 12, no. 3. 1969.
Abstract: MOST OF THE CHAPTERS IN THIS BOOK ARE reprintings of essays originally published elsewhere – the earliest in 1949 and the latest in 1966. Some of them are scholarly papers… More

Review: Nervous Rapprochements

– Fromm, Harold. "Nervous Rapprochements." The Hudson Review 41, no. 2. 1988.
Abstract: THAT HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS HAS DONE UP Gertrude Himmelfarb’s new collection in noteworthy style-elegant dust jacket, handsome binding, heavyweight antique-white paper,… More

Review: A Victorian Mind

– Malchow, H. L. "A Victorian Mind: Gertrude Himmelfarb, Poverty, and the Moral Imagination." Victorian Studies 35, no. 3. 1992.
Abstract: THE PUBLICATION OF POVERTY AND COMPASSION: THE MORAL IMAGINATION OF THE Late Victorians is the culmination of a major endeavor in intellectual history- one that has spanned the… More

Review: Himmelfarb, Mill, and the Dodges of Liberty

– Fromm, Harold. "Himmelfarb, Mill, and the Dodges of Liberty." The Hudson Review 47, no. 3. 1994.
Abstract: What happens to our passion for literature when any “text” qualifies as literature, when theory is elevated above poetry and the critic above the poet, and when… More

Review: Family Virtues

– Jacobs, Alan. "Family Virtues." The American Scholar 64, no. 4. 1995.
Abstract: Some years ago the popular historian Barbara Tuchman published A Distant Mirror, a book that claims that in the struggles of the fourteenth century we can discern the out- lines… More

Review: Victoria’s Virtues

– Quinn, John F. "Victoria's Virtues." The Review of Politics 58, no. 3. 1996.
Abstract: Gertrude Himmelfarb has never been the sort to shy away from controversy. In her previous works, she has taken to task social historians, radical feminists, deconstructionists and… More

Recent Writings on Economic and Social Freedom

– Richardson, Charles. "Recent Writings on Economic and Social Freedom." Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform 3, no. 4. 1996.
Read more on Jstor: Recent Writings on Economic and Social Freedom

Review: Gertrude Himmelfarb on The Victorians and Ourselves

– Beum, Robert. "Gertrude Himmelfarb on The Victorians and Ourselves." The Sewanee Review 105, no. 2. 1997.
Abstract: Gertrude Himmelfarb probably knows more about Victorian England than anyone alive. She knows the era’s many defamers no less intimately and has faced them all along as a… More

Gertrude Himmelfarb — National Endowment for the Humanities

– Caroline, Kim. "Gertrude Himmelfarb." National Endowment for the Humanities. 2004.
Abstract: As one of the leading scholars of Victorian studies, Gertrude Himmelfarb has tried to dispel stereotypes about the Victorian world. “It’s not quite a respectable word… More

Can History Do Without Theory?

– Gordon, David. "Can History Do Without Theory?" Review of The New History And The Old: Critical Essays And Reappraisals, by Gertrude Himmelfarb. The Mises Review 10, No. 2. Summer 2004.
Abstract: Gertrude Himmelfarb is an intellectual historian of great distinction. She has specialized in British nineteenth-century history; and her book on Lord Acton, her study of… More

‘The Roads to Modernity’: Freedom Philosophers

– McLemee, Scott, "The Roads to Modernity: Freedom Philosophers" New York Times, October 12, 2004.
Abstract: IN 1995, William Kristol published a manifesto-like essay called “The Politics of Liberty, the Sociology of Virtue” — reprinted, the following year, as the final… More

Review: The Roads to Modernity by Gertrude Himmelfarb

– NUECHTERLEIN, JAMES A. Commentary Magazine. 2004.
Abstract: When I was in graduate school in the early 1960’s, a fellow student amused the rest of us by circulating a course description he had run across in the catalog of an obscure… More

Gertrude Himmelfarb Profile

– "Himmelfarb, Gertrude." Encyclopaedia 2009.
Abstract: HIMMELFARB, GERTRUDE (1922– ), historian of Victorian England. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Max and Bertha (Lerner) Himmelfarb, she received her B.A. from Brooklyn College in… More

Gertrude Himmelfarb: Brown’s Guru

– Vallely, Paul. "Gertrude Himmelfarb: Brown's guru." The Independent. November 02, 2007.
Abstract: Tony Blair, you will recall, was the chap with the Big Tent. Nothing so crass as that for Gordon Brown. But consider the speech he gave on liberty and the need for a new Bill… More

Look back and learn what’s bright and good…

– Feigel, Lara. "Look back and learn what's bright and good..." The Guardian. 2008
Abstract: The roads to modernity is an intelligent history of the Enlightenments in Britain, France and America that masks a contemporary political manifesto. Gertrude Himmelfarb emphasises… More

Study of Himmelfarb’s Career and Life

– Frankel, OZ. "Gertrude Himmelfarb." Jewish Women's Archive: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. March 20, 2009.
Abstract: Gertrude Himmelfarb has dedicated her long and noted career as a historian of ideas to the study of nineteenth-century Britain, an intellectual commitment that has been guided by… More

Review of Gertrude Himmelfarb’s The Jewish Odyssey of George Eliot – Judaism and the Human Future: A Victorian Vision

– Smith, Suzanne. "Review of Gertrude Himmelfarb's The Jewish Odyssey of George Eliot - Judaism and the Human Future: A Victorian Vision." The Harvard Theological Review103, no. 2. 2010.
Abstract: In reflecting upon the fact that religious language survives long after the practices and the devotion that gave rise to it have departed, Alasdair Maclntyre once observed that… More

Anglo-Jewish Attitudes by Asael Abelman

– Abelman, Asael. "Anglo-Jewish Attitudes." Mosaic magazine. July 20, 2017.
Excerpt: The cultural historian Gertrude Himmelfarb has arguably done more than anyone to shape our understanding of Victorian Britain. She has also written books on the 18th-century… More

The Historian as Moralist by Yuval Levin

– Levin, Yuval, "The Historian as Moralist," National Review, December 31, 2019.
The passing of Gertrude Himmelfarb, who died on December 30th at the age of 97, is a loss felt keenly by all who had the good fortune to know her. To family and friends, she was known as… More

The Historian of Moral Revolution by David Brooks

– Brooks, David, "The Historian of Moral Revolution," The Atlantic, December 31, 2019.
David Brooks writes about Gertrude Himmelfarb: Economists measure economic change and journalists describe political change, but who captures moral change? Who captures the shifts in… More

Gertrude Himmelfarb

– John Podhoretz, "Gertrude Himmelfarb," Commentary, December 31, 2019.
Excerpt: Irving Kristol told this story about his courtship of his wife Bea—they met and they knew and he asked her what she wanted in life and she said she wanted to publish ten books.… More

R.I.P. Gertrude Himmelfarb

– Ahmari, Sohrab, "R.I.P. Gertrude Himmelfarb," New York Post, December 31, 2019.
Excerpt: Gertrude Himmelfarb, a giant of 20th-century American letters, died Monday; she was 97. Reviewing her 1968 masterpiece, “Victorian Minds,” in Commentary, the sociologist… 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… 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,… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… More

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… More


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    

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.