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Jacques Martin Barzun Profile painting of Jacques Barzun around 1959. Born November 30, 1907 (1907-11-30) (age 103) Créteil, France Occupation Historian Jacques Martin Barzun (born November 30, 1907) is a French-born American historian of ideas and culture. Contents 1 Life 2 Career 3 Bibliography 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links Life Barzun was born in Créteil, France to Henri-Martin and Anna-Rose Barzun. He spent his childhood in Paris and Grenoble. His father was a member of the Abbaye de Créteil group of artists and writers and also worked in the French Ministry of Labor.[1] His parents' Paris home was frequented by many "modernist" artists of belle epoque France, such as poet Guillaume Apollinaire, Cubist painters Albert Gleizes and Marcel Duchamp, composer Edgard Varèse, and writers Richard Aldington and Stefan Zweig.[2] While on a diplomatic mission to the U.S. during the First World War, Barzun's father so liked what he saw that he decided that his son should have an American university education. Thus, Barzun was sent to the United States at age 12, first to attend a preparatory school, then Columbia University, where he obtained a broad liberal education. Barzun was valedictorian of the class of 1927 of Columbia College and was a prize-winning president of the Philolexian Society, a Columbia literary and debate club. He obtained his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1932 and taught history there from 1928 to 1955, becoming the Seth Low Professor of History and a founder of the discipline of cultural history. For years, he, and literary critic Lionel Trilling, ran Columbia's famous Great Books course. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1954.[3] From 1955 to 1968, he served as Dean of the Graduate School, Dean of Faculties, and Provost, while also being an Extraordinary Fellow of Churchill College at the University of Cambridge. From 1968 until his 1975 retirement, he was University Professor at Columbia. From 1975 to 1993, he was Literary Adviser to Charles Scribner's Sons. The American Philosophical Society honors Barzun with its Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History, awarded annually since 1993 to the author of a recent distinguished work of cultural history. He has also received the Gold Medal for Criticism from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, of which he was twice president. In 2003, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. On October 18, 2007, he received the 59th Great Teacher Award of the Society of Columbia Graduates in absentia. In 1936, Barzun married Mariana Lowell, a violinist from a prominent Boston family, who died in 1979. They had three children: James, Roger, and Isabel.[4] In 1980, Barzun married Marguerite Lee Davenport. Since 1996, the Barzuns have lived in her home town of San Antonio, Texas. His granddaughter Lucy Barzun Donnelly was a producer of the award-winning Grey Gardens (HBO film), and his grandson Matthew Barzun is a businessman and the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden. Career Over seven decades, Barzun has written and edited more than forty books touching on an unusually broad range of subjects, including science and medicine, psychiatry from Robert Burton through William James to modern methods, and art, and classical music; he is one of the all-time authorities on Hector Berlioz. Some of his books - particularly Teacher in America and The House of Intellect - enjoyed a substantial lay readership and influenced debate about culture and education far beyond the realm of academic history. Barzun has a strong interest in the tools and mechanics of writing and research. He undertook the task of completing, from a manuscript almost two-thirds of which was in first draft at the author's death, and editing (with the help of six other people), the first edition (published 1966) of Follett's Modern American Usage. Barzun is also the author of books on literary style (Simple and Direct, 1975), on the crafts of editing and publishing (On Writing, Editing, and Publishing, 1971), and on research methods in history and the other humanities (The Modern Researcher, which has seen at least six editions). Barzun does not disdain popular culture: his varied interests include detective fiction and baseball. He edited and wrote the introduction to the 1961 anthology, The Delights of Detection, which included stories by G. K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, Rex Stout, and others. In 1971, Barzun co-authored (with Wendell Hertig Taylor), A Catalogue of Crime: Being a Reader's Guide to the Literature of Mystery, Detection, & Related Genres, for which he and his co-author received a Special Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America the following year. [5] Barzun is a proponent of the theatre critic and diarist James Agate, whom he compared in stature to Pepys.[6] Barzun edited Agate's last two diaries into a new edition in 1951 and wrote an informative introductory essay, "Agate and His Nine Egos".[7] From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun Jacques Barzun has continued to write on education and cultural history since retiring from Columbia. At 84 years of age, he began writing his swan song, to which he devoted the better part of the 1990s. The resulting book of more than 800 pages, From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present, reveals a vast erudition and brilliance undimmed by advanced age. Historians, literary critics, and popular reviewers all lauded From Dawn to Decadence as a sweeping and powerful survey of modern Western history, and it became a New York Times bestseller. The book introduces several novel typographic devices that aid an unusually rich system of cross-referencing and help keep many strands of thought in the book under organized control. Most pages feature a sidebar containing a pithy quotation, usually little known, and often surprising or humorous, from some author or historical figure. In 2007, Barzun commented that "Old age is like learning a new profession. And not one of your own choosing."[8] Barzun was awarded the 2010 National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama.[9][10] On April 16, 2011, he received the Philolexian Award for Distinguished Literary Achievement in absentia. Bibliography 1927 Samplings and Chronicles: Being the Continuation of the Philolexian Society History, with Literary Selections From 1912 to 1927 (editor). Philolexian Society. 1932 The French Race: Theories of Its Origins and Their Social and Political Implications. P.S. King & Son. 1937 Race: a Study in Modern Superstition (Revised, 1965 Race: A Study in Superstition). Methuen & Co. Ltd. 1939 Of Human Freedom. Revised edition, Greenwood Press Reprint, 1977: ISBN 0837193214. 1941 Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage. Reprint Barzun Press, 2007: ISBN 978-1406761788. 1943 Romanticism and the Modern Ego. Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1943. 1945 Teacher in America. Reprint Liberty Fund, 1981. ISBN 0913966797. 1950 Berlioz and the Romantic Generation. Boston: Little, Brown and Company/An Atlantic Monthly Press Book, 1950 [2 vols.]. 1951 Pleasures of Music: a Reader's Choice of Great Writing About Music and Musicians From Cellini to Bernard Shaw Viking Press. 1954 God's Country and Mine: A Declaration of Love, Spiced with a Few Harsh Words. Reprint Greenwood Press, 1973: ISBN 0837168600. 1956 Music in American Life. Indiana University Press. 1956 The Energies of Art: Studies of Authors, Classic and Modern. Greenwood, ISBN: 0837168562. 1959 The House of Intellect. Reprint Harper Perennial, 2002: ISBN 978-0060102302. 1960 Lincoln the Literary Genius (first published in The Saturday Evening Post, 14 February 1959) 1961 The Delights of Detection. Criterion Books. 1961 Classic, Romantic, and Modern. Reprint University Of Chicago Press, 1975: ISBN 0226038521. 1964 Science: The Glorious Entertainment. HarperCollins. ISBN 0060102403. 1967 What Man Has Built (introductory booklet to the Great Ages of Man book series). Time Inc. 1968 The American University: How It Runs, Where It Is Going. Reprint University Of Chicago Press, 1993: ISBN 0226038459. 1969 Berlioz and the Romantic Century (3d ed.) Reprint: Barzun Press. 1971 On Writing, Editing, and Publishing. University of Chicago Press. 1971 A Catalogue of Crime: Being a Reader's Guide to the Literature of Mystery, Detection, and Related Genres (with Wendell Hertig Taylor). Revised edition, Harper & Row, 1989: ISBN 0060157968. 1974 Clio and the Doctors. Reprinted University Of Chicago Press, 1993: ISBN 0226038513. 1974 The Use and Abuse of Art (A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts) . Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691018049. 1975 Simple and Direct: A Rhetoric for Writers. 4th ed, Harper Perennial, 2001: ISBN 0060937238. 1976 The Bibliophile of the Future: His Complaints about the Twentieth Century (Maury A. Bromsen lecture in humanistic bibliography). Boston Public Library. ISBN 0890730482. 1980 Three Talks at Northern Kentucky University. Northern Kentucky University, Dept. of Literature and Language. 1982 Lincoln's Philosophic Vision. Artichokes Creative Studios. 1982 Critical Questions: On Music and Letters, Culture and Biography, 1940-1980 (edited by Bea Friedland). University Of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226038645. 1982 Berlioz and His Century: An Introduction to the Age of Romanticism (Abridgment of Berlioz and the Romantic Century). University Of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226038610. 1983 A Stroll with William James. Reprint University of Chicago Press, 2002: ISBN 978-0226038698. 1986 A Word or Two Before You Go: Brief Essays on Language. Wesleyan University. 1989 The Culture We Deserve: A Critique of Disenlightenment. Wesleyan University. ISBN 0819562378. 1991 An Essay on French Verse: For Readers of English Poetry. New Directions Publishing. ISBN 0811211584. 1991 Begin Here: The Forgotten Conditions of Teaching and Learning. University Of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226038467. 2000 From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present. ISBN 978-0060928834. 2001 Sidelights on Opera at Glimmerglass. Glimmerglass Opera 2002 A Jacques Barzun Reader. ISBN 978-0060935429. 2002 What is a School? and Trim the College! (What is a School? An Institution in Limbo, Trim the College! A Utopia). Hudson Institute. 2003 The Modern Researcher (6th ed.) (with Henry F. Graff). Wadsworth Publishing. ISBN 978-0495318705. 2004 Four More Sidelights on Opera at Glimmerglass: 2001-2004 See also American philosophy List of American philosophers References ^ Roger Gathman: "The Man Who Knew Too Much: Jacques Barzun, Idea Man. The Austin Chronicle, October 13, 2000. (Contains an interview with the author.) Accessed 2009-09-16. ^ The Austin Chronicle, October 13, 2000 ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. http://www.amacad.org/publications/BookofMembers/ChapterB.pdf. Retrieved May 20, 2011.  ^ Time, June 11, 1956 ^ "The Edgars and Other MWA Awards". Mystery Writers of America. Archived from the original on 2007-06-25. http://web.archive.org/web/20070625063228/http://www.mysterywriters.org/pages/awards/index.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-02.  ^ From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present, Jacques Barzun, Harper Perennial, 2001. ^ The Later Ego. Consisting of Ego 8 and Ego 9. Introduction and notes by Jacques Barzun, Jacques Barzun, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, 1951. ^ Age of Reason by Arthur Krystal in The New Yorker, October 22, 2007, p. 103 ^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/03/01/president-obama-award-2010-national-medal-arts-and-national-humanities-m ^ http://www.neh.gov/news/archive/20110301.html Further reading Art at Our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers and Artists featuring Jacques Barzun. Edited by Nan Cuba and Riley Robinson (Trinity University Press, 2008). Arthur Krystal, Except When I Write Oxford University Press, 2011), has a chapter on Barzun. ISBN 9780199782406 Michael Murray, Jacques Barzun: Portrait of a Mind (Frederic C. Beil, 2011), authorized biography. ISBN 9781929490417 External links Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Jacques Barzun Reviews Barzun Centennial website, including tributes Site devoted to writings about Barzun, including interviews. A synopsis of From Dawn to Decadence along with a short bio of the author. Kimball, Roger, "Closing time? Jacques Barzun on Western culture," New Criterion, 18 June 2000. Expanded Table of Contents of From Dawn to Decadence by Leo Wong Society of Columbia Graduates 2007 Great Teacher Award presented to Jacques Barzun, includes speeches by Henry F. Graff, William Theodore de Bary, Alan Brinkley, and others Jacques Barzun Video shown at the 2007 Great Teacher Award banquet Eyres, Harry, "Honour and Humanity," Financial Times, August 14, 2010 Talks and Interviews From Dawn to Decadence, New York Historical Society, April 4, 2000 The Intellectual Portrait Series: A Conversation with Jacques Barzun, Liberty Fund, 2000 What is a School?, Trinity University (San Antonio), October 24, 2001 In Depth with Jacques Barzun C-SPAN, May 6 2001 Interview with Barzun in The Austin Chronicle, 2000 A Conversation with Jacques Barzun (2010) SoL Center, San Antonio TX, September 12,, 2010 Persondata Name Barzun, Jacques Alternative names Short description Date of birth November 30, 1907 Place of birth Créteil, France Date of death Place of death