Handlin, Oscar

Handlin, Oscar, 1915–2011, American historian, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., grad. Brooklyn College (B.A., 1934). He received his Ph.D (1940) from Harvard and taught there from 1939 to 1984. Most of his work is in U.S. social and economic history, particularly centering on the influence of immigration on American history and culture. With his first wife, Mary F. Handlin, he wrote Commonwealth (1947), a study of the economy and of the role of government in Massachusetts during the period 1774–1861. He won the 1952 Pulitzer Prize in history for The Uprooted (1951, 2d enl. ed. 1973), a history of the immigration movements to America after 1820. Among his many other works are Boston's Immigrants, 1790–1865 (1941, rev. and enl. ed. 1959); Adventure in Freedom; 300 Years of Jewish Life in America (1954); Race and Nationality in American Life (1957); The Newcomers—Negroes and Puerto Ricans in a Changing Metropolis (1959); The Dimensions of Liberty (1961); and the four-volume Liberty in America (with his second wife, Lilian Handlin, 1986–94).

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