Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pauline Maier deserves a much better notice of death

than this headline.

I had read parts of Maier's work over the last decade but when I listened to Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 I really became enamored with her wit, style, and ability. I followed up by revisiting her other works, notably From Resistance to Revolution and American Scripture, and enjoyed them more the second time around.

Do yourself a favor. Read one of her books. Then read others. I'm at a loss to provide a higher recommendation to a historian's work.

UPDATE: R. B. Bernstein has provided a moving tribute and a good summary of Maier's books. There are additional links to Maier and her work at Bernstein's post.


Brian Joseph said...

Sorry to hear about her death.

Though I have not read any of her books Revolutionary era America is one of my greatest interests so she should be on my radar. I really must get to one or more of her books.

Dwight said...

Ratification was very good for the reason James Madison said: if you want to understand the Constitution, follow the ratifying conventions of the states. The other books are very good as well. I couldn't believe the obituary headline...maybe I should write my own obit along the lines of "Blogger who called Hakeem Olajuwon an underrated athlete dies."

seraillon said...

I don't know her work (and given that I manage about one history book a year may not get to it), but thanks for not letting that headline go by without saying something. Awful. I can't believe that got past an editor, let alone got written in the first place.

Dwight said...

Scott, if you get a chance go to the Ratification post I linked to and click on the CSPAN library tract. You can have it on in the background for an hour while doing something else and you'll get a very good overview of the book.

The funny thing about the timing of this was that at a recent kids birthday party another dad and I were talking about recent biographies and histories on founding fathers and the Constitution. And after a few more beers, Hakeem Olajuwon.

R. B. said...

The headline of the NEW YORK TIMES obit was grotesquely irresponsible and did Pauline Maier a profound disservice.

The first obituary and tribute, written for H-LAW by yours truly, may be found here:

I hope that readers here will sample her work and discover how great a scholar and writer she was.

Dwight said...

Thank you Mr. Bernstein. I will link to your obituary in the post.