David A. Hollinger- Academic Family Tree


Preston Hotchkis Professor Emeritus and Professor of the Graduate School, University of California, Berkeley.  Fellow American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, and Harmsworth Professor of the University of Oxford. Past President (2010-2011) Organization of American Historians.

Born April 25, 1941 (Chicago, Illinois)



After Cloven Tongues of Fire: Protestant Liberlaism in Modern American History (Princeton University Press, 2013).

Cosmopolitanism and Solidarity: Studies in Ethnoracial, Religious, and Professional Affiliation in the United States (University of Wisconsin Press, 2006)

The Humanities and the Dynamics of Inclusion Since World War Two (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). [Edited for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences]

The American Intellectual Tradition: A Source Book (Oxford University Press, 6th ed., 2011) [co-edited with Charles Capper]

Postethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism (Basic Books, 1995; paperback edition, Basic Books, 1996; Fifth Anniversary Edition with “Postscript 2000,” 2000, Japanese translation by Fumiko Fujita, (Akashi Press, Tokyo, 2002); Tenth Anniversary Edition with “Postscript 2005,” 2006).

Reappraising Oppenheimer: Centennial Studies and Reflections (Berkeley, 2005) [co-edited with Cathryn Carson]

Science, Jews, and Secular Culture: Studies in Mid-Twentieth Century American Intellectual History (Princeton University Press, 1996; paperback edition 1999)

In the American Province: Studies in the History and Historiography of Ideas (Indiana University Press, 1985, paperback edition, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989)

Morris R. Cohen and the Scientific Ideal (MIT Press, 1975)




Bruce Catton

Hollinger was influenced at an early age by the works of historian Bruce Catton (whom he called his idol).  Catton is most known as a Civil War historian and has written many books such as “A Stillness at Appomattox.”

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In 1959 Hollinger enrolled in La Verne College.  There, he was exposed to the writings of historians such as Toynbee and a series of writings commonly referred to as the Amherst Pamphlets.  These writings encouraged a more critical thinking based approach to approaching conflicting views of history, which was different from Catton’s more implied analysis that else wise focused on the events instead of the meaning of the events.

While attending La Verne, Hollinger was growing more socially isolated.  He was not making friends with as intense of an interest in history and other topics that Hollinger was interested in.  Around this time, he joined the American Historical Association.

In 1963, Hollinger began his Masters at University of California at Berkeley, where he would also attend while earning his Doctorate.  He was more socially in tune with the Berkeley student body, though he had some growing pains getting used to the critical thinking approach to student work.  One of his first instructors at Berkeley, Winthrop D. Jordan, once declared that Hollinger did not know what he was doing.

The critical nature of this early experience aside, we can consider Winthrop D. Jordan as Hollinger’s academic uncle.  Later in his academic career, Hollinger would serve as Jordan’s research assistant on “White over Black: White Attitudes towards Negroes in America 1550-1812.”



He was influenced by the works of other Berkeley history professors include Thomas S. Khun (whom Hollinger read but never studied under), Joseph R. Levenson, and Robert L. Middlekauff.  Both of these can also be considered Intellectual Uncles, for though the works of these professors were influential, he did not study directly under all of them.

Another intellectual uncle is

So, in the pursuit of the intellectual family tree, who is Hollinger’s father?

Another professor at Berkeley that was an influence on Hollinger include his dissertation director, Henry F. May. And it is to him that I give the title of INTELLECTUAL FATHER.  For, among other reasons, Hollinger wrote his “In Memoriam” article for historians.org.




Here is a sampling of the list of the students who Hollinger served as PhD adviser for, who have gone on to have published:

S.M. Amadae http://amadae.com/about

Jennifer Burns https://history.stanford.edu/people/jennifer-burns

Daniel Geary http://blog.historians.org/2013/10/aha-member-spotlight-daniel-geary/

Nils Gilman http://cic.nyu.edu/content/nils-gilman

Kevin M. Schultz http://hist.uic.edu/history/people/faculty/kevin-schultz