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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the David Riesman Papers 1947-1982

© 2012 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Riesman, David. Papers

Dates:

1947-1982

Size:

.5 linear feet (1 box)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

David Riesman (1909-2002) was an American sociologist, attorney, writer, and educator. He is best known as the author of The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character. The collection consists primarily of reprints of articles written or co-authored by David Riesman from 1947 to 1982. The bulk of the material dates from 1950 to 1956.

Information on Use

Access

The collection is open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Riesman, David. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Biographical Note

David Riesman (born September 22, 1909, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.—died May 10, 2002, Binghamton, New York) was an American sociologist, attorney, writer, and educator. He is best known as the author of The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character (with Reuel Denney and Nathan Glazer, 1950), an examination of post-WWII American society. The book struck a chord with readers and became a bestseller, contributing the terms "inner-directed," "outer-directed," and "tradition-directed" to discourse on the social character of modern Americans in an age of burgeoning prosperity and consumerism.

Riesman was educated at Harvard University, receiving an A.B. in biochemistry in 1931 and a law degree in 1934. Following law school, he clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis for a year, then taught law at the University of Buffalo from 1937 to 1941 (now the State University of New York at Buffalo). He also served as a deputy assistant district attorney in Manhattan in 1940, where he contributed to the state legislature's anti-Communist Rapp-Coudert committee hearings. Riesman spent World War II working as an executive at the Sperry Gyroscope Company.

Riesman married Evelyn Hastings Thompson, a writer and art critic, in 1936. She died in 1998. They had two daughters, Lucy Lowenstein and Jennie Riesman; and a son, Michael.

The remainder of Riesman's career was in academia. He taught social sciences at the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1958, then at Harvard until his retirement in 1980. He wrote and co-authored more than a dozen books, including Faces in the Crowd: Individual Studies in Character and Politics (with Glazer, 1952), Thorstein Veblen: A Critical Interpretation (1953), Individualism Reconsidered and Other Essays (1954), Abundance for What? and Other Essays (1964), and The Academic Revolution (with Jencks, 1968).

Scope Note

This collection consists primarily of reprints of articles written or co-authored by David Riesman from 1947 to 1982. The bulk of the material dates from 1950 to 1956. There are two articles at the end of the collection authored by Riesman's wife, Evelyn Thompson Riesman.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

University of Chicago. Division of Social Sciences. Records

Hughes, Everett Cherrington. Papers

Singer, Milton. Papers

David Riesman's papers may also be found in the Harvard University Archives.

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1

Article Reprints

  • "Some Observations on Community Plans and Utopia," 1947
  • "The Meaning of Opinion," 1948
  • "Social Structure, Character Structure, and Opinion," 1948
  • "One from the Gallery: An Experiment in the Interpretation of an Interview," 1950
  • "Listening to Popular Music," 1950
  • "Freud, Religion and Science," 1950
  • "The Themes of Work and Play in the Structure of Freud's Thought," 1950
  • "Authority and Liberty in the Structure of Freud's Thought," 1950
  • "The Themes of Heroism and Weakness in the Structure of Freud's Thought," 1950
  • "Some Problems of a Course in `Culture and Personality,'" 1951
  • "The 'Militant' Fight against Anti-Semitism," 1951
  • "Some Observations Concerning Marginality," 1951
  • "Two Adolescents: An Experiment in the Interpretation of Interviews," 1951
Box 1   Folder 2

Article Reprints

  • "Toward an Anthropological Science of Law and the Legal Profession," 1951
  • "Some Observations on Social Science Research," 1951
  • "Our Country and Our Culture," 1952
  • "Some Observations on the Limits of Totalitarian Power," 1952
  • "Brief Communications: Some Observations on the Study of American Character," 1952
  • "Some Observations on Changes in Leisure Attitudes," 1952
  • "Values in Context," 1952
  • "Changes in the Agents of Character Formation" from The Lonely Crowd, Social Sciences course, University of Chicago, 1952
  • "The Study of Kansas City: An Informal Overture," 1953
  • "Psychological Types and National Character: An Informal Commentary," 1953
  • "Marginality, Conformity, and Insight," 1953
  • "The Social and Psychological Setting of Veblen's Economic Theory," 1953
  • "Some Observations on Intellectual Freedom," 1953
  • "A Career Drama in a Middle-Aged Farmer," 1954
  • "Some Clinical and Cultural Aspects of Aging," 1954
  • "Recreation and the Recreationist," 1954
  • "Teachers amid Changing Expectations," 1954
  • "The Intellectuals and the Discontented Classes," 1955
  • "Asking and Answering," 1956
  • "The Found Generation," circa 1956
Box 1   Folder 3

Article Reprints, Copy, Proof, and Typescript

  • "The College Student in an Age of Organization," 1958
  • "Sociability, Permissiveness, and Equality: A Preliminary Formulation," 1960
  • "Faculty Culture and Academic Careers: Some Sources of Educational Innovation" - Third Draft - Ditto Copy, 1963
  • "The American Negro College" - Page Proofs, 1967
  • "Some Questions about the Study of American Character in the Twentieth Century," 1967
  • "David Riesman: An Exchange with Brazilian Students," 1968
  • "The Search for Alternative Models in Education," 1969
  • "Inflation in Higher Education," 1970
  • "Attitudes toward President Nixon: A Case of American Exceptionalism in Relation to Watergate," 1982
  • "Football in America: A Study of Culture Diffusion," Undated
  • "Movies and Audiences," Undated
  • "The American Scene in Commentary's Mirror," Undated
  • "A Grammar of Soviet Motives" - Typescript, Undated
Box 1   Folder 4

Article Reprints by Evelyn Riesman

  • "Childhood Memory in the Painting of Joan Miró," 1949
  • "The Recapture of Wonder," 1950