Handlin, Oscar,1915–2011, American historian, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., grad. Brooklyn College (B.A., 1934). He received his Ph.D (1940) from Harvard and taught there from 1939 to 1984. Most of his work is in U.S. social and economic history, particularly centering on the influence of immigration on American history and culture. With his first wife, Mary F. Handlin, he wrote Commonwealth (1947), a study of the economy and of the role of government in Massachusetts during the period 1774–1861. He won the 1952 Pulitzer Prize in history for The Uprooted (1951, 2d enl. ed. 1973), a history of the immigration movements to America after 1820. Among his many other works are Boston's Immigrants, 1790–1865 (1941, rev. and enl. ed. 1959); Adventure in Freedom; 300 Years of Jewish Life in America (1954); Race and Nationality in American Life (1957); The Newcomers—Negroes and Puerto Ricans in a Changing Metropolis (1959); The Dimensions of Liberty (1961); and the four-volume Liberty in America (with his second wife, Lilian Handlin, 1986–94).
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Handlin, Oscar(1915– ) historian; born in New York City. He taught at Harvard University (1938). His doctoral thesis, Boston's Immigrants 1790–1865 (1941), updated as The Uprooted (1951), won a Pulitzer Prize and established him as an authority on immigration. With his wife, sociologist Mary Flug Handlin, he wrote Commonwealth (1947). Other works include Race and Nationality in American Life (1957) and The Distortion of America (1981).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.