Becker, Carl

Becker, Carl (Lotus)

(1873–1945) historian; born in Lincoln Township, Iowa. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, he taught at several colleges before becoming professor of history at Cornell (1917–41). He was a master of both elite and popular thought in 18th-century America and Europe, and his historical writing combined scholarly learning with an accessible style. He was equally honored as a teacher. His best known work was The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth Century Philosophers (1932), which reflected his characteristically conservative-skeptical view of modern history. Other works include The Eve of Revolution (1918), Progress and Power (1936), and How New Will the Better World Be (1943), which expressed his views of international relations in the world after World War II.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.