Fun Facts Friday: Gertrude Himmelfarb

August 7, 2020

Gertrude Himmelfarb (8 August, 1922 – 30 December, 2019) was an author and historian, focusing on Great Britain.

Fun Facts Friday: Gertrude HimmelfarbBooks by Gertrude Himmelfarb*

  1. Ms. Himmelfarb was born in Brooklyn, NY to Bertha and Max, Jews of Russian origins who immigrated to the US before World War I.
  2. The author graduated from Brooklyn College (with a triple major in history, economics and philosophy), got her doctorate at the University of Chicago, and also studied at Cambridge University.
  3. Her husband, Irving Kristol, was known as the godfather of neo-conservatism.
  4. Mrs. Himmelfarb did not change her last name upon marriage because… she didn’t want to be bothered with the paperwork.
  5. Mrs. Himmelfarb has too many awards and honorary degrees to mention, serving on the Council of Academic Advisers of the American Enterprise Institute, the Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council of Scholars of the Library of Congress as well as a Fellow of the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  6. In 2004 Mrs. Himmelfarb was awarded the National Humanities Medal.
  7. Her book, The Idea of Poverty, which was nominated for the National Book Award, helped shape debate and policies through much the nineteenth century and beyond.
  8. In 1991 Ms. Himmelfarb wrote in The New York Times Book Review, that she viewed the growing absence of footnotes in scholarly books as “a moral lapse.”
  9. She was not afraid to criticize other historians, especially if they wrote “New Histories” which used partial or dubious data.
  10. Even though Ms. Himmelfarb identified as a conservative, the British left much admired her work including Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Zohar – Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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