© 2012 University of Chicago Library
Riesman, David. Papers
.5 linear feet (1 box)
Special Collections Research Center
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.
The collection is open for research.
When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Riesman, David. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.
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).
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.
The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:
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.
|Box 1 Folder 1|
|Box 1 Folder 2|
|Box 1 Folder 3|
Article Reprints, Copy, Proof, and Typescript
|Box 1 Folder 4|
Article Reprints by Evelyn Riesman