Tannenbaum, Frank

Tannenbaum, Frank,

1893–1969, American historian, b. Austria. He received his Ph.D. from the Brookings School of Economics in 1927. After an early career as a labor leader, journalist, and economic adviser, he became an expert in institutional history and made notable studies of labor, slavery, and the penal system. He is known chiefly, however, as an expert on Latin America. His work in the 1930s as an adviser to the Mexican government led to his book Peace by Revolution: An Interpretation of Mexico (1933). He played a key role in the development of the Farm Security Bill during the New Deal and in the creation of the university seminars at Columbia. He was professor of Latin American history at Columbia from 1935 until his retirement in 1962. His major works include Slave and Citizen (1947), Mexico: The Struggle for Peace and Bread (1950), A Philosophy of Labor (1951), and Ten Keys to Latin America (1962).
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Tannenbaum, Frank

(1893–1969) historian; born in Brod, Galicia, Austria-Hungary. He emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1905, two years later enrolling in night classes at the radical Ferrer School. As a young member of the Industrial Workers of the World, or "Wobblies," he worked as a labor activist and was briefly imprisoned. He later earned degrees at Columbia College and the Brookings Institution. During his long career as a Latin American historian at Columbia University (1935–61), he originated (1945) and for 25 years directed Columbia's famous University Seminar Program. His interests and contributions were unusually diverse, ranging from prison reform to race relations. His Crime and the Community (1938) became a standard text; his most famous book, Slave and Citizen (1947), was a pioneering work on the historiography of American slavery. Long interested in Mexican history, particularly the revolution, he came to be regarded as the dean of North American Mexicanists; his awards included the Mexican government's National Order of the Águila Azteca.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.