Fredrickson, George M., 1934-2008
- Existence: 1934-2008
Historian George M. Fredrickson was born in Bristol, Connecticut, on July 16, 1934. He joined the faculty of the History Department at Northwestern University in 1966 and remained until 1984, at which point he left for a position at Stanford University. Fredrickson's research focused on intellectual history and the history of race relations. He died on February 25, 2008, at the age of 73.
He received his Bachelor's Degree in history and literature from Harvard in 1956, and completed his Ph.D. in American civilization at Harvard in 1964. Among the honors received by Fredrickson was a Fulbright Fellowship which enabled him to study at the University of Oslo during 1956-1957. After teaching at Harvard as an Instructor of History from 1963 to 1966, Fredrickson joined the Northwestern University faculty in 1966 as Associate Professor of History. In 1971, Fredrickson was made a full professor and in 1979 was named William Smith Mason Professor of American History. Fredrickson left Northwestern to accept a position at Stanford University in 1984.
During his years at Northwestern, Fredrickson received numerous honors and grants for his work in the fields of intellectual history and the history of race relations. In addition to his first book, The Inner Civil War: Northern Intellectuals and the Crisis of the Union (1965), Fredrickson published The Black Image in the White Mind: The Debate on Afro-American Character and Destiny (1971) and White Supremacy: A Comparative Study of American and South African History (1981), as well as textbooks, editions, and essays, and over a dozen articles in scholarly journals.
Fredrickson served on a number of University committees, most notably the Committee on Human Relations, which was formed in 1968 to deal with problems and issues faced by African-American students during the turbulent sixties. During 1968 and 1969, Fredrickson was a member of a subcommittee to review minority participation in fraternity and sorority life. He chaired the Human Relations Committee during the 1970-71 academic year. For two years, from 1978 through 1981, Fredrickson was the chair of the TriQuarterly Magazine Committee.