Riesman, David, 1909-2002

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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).

From the guide to the Riesman, David. Papers, 1947-1982, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Archival Resources
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creatorOf American Committee for the Guidance of Professional Personnel. American Committee for the Guidance of Professional Personnel records, 1938-1945. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Riesman, David, 1909-2002. Dilemmas of the educated woman : commencement address at Mount Holyoke College : typescript, 1968 June 2. Mount Holyoke College, Williston & Miles-Smith Library
creatorOf Flansburg, James Sherman, 1932-. Papers of James S. Flansburg, 1962-1998. University of Iowa Libraries
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referencedIn Roscoe Pound papers, 1888-1964 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
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referencedIn Daniel J. Boorstin Papers, 1882-1995, (bulk 1944-1994) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Records of the President of Radcliffe College, 1960-1972 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
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referencedIn May Sarton Papers, 1846-1995, 1920-1995 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn American Scholar, Records, 1926-2006, (bulk 1944-2005) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
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referencedIn Erich Fromm papers, 1929-1949, 1932-1949 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
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creatorOf Denney, Reuel, 1913-1995. Papers, 1932-1988. New Hampshire Newsp Project
referencedIn Paul Goodman papers, 1925-1983. Houghton Library
creatorOf Williams, Michael, 1878-1950. Records, 1926-1989. University of Notre Dame, Hesburgh Library
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referencedIn Macdonald, Dwight. Dwight Macdonald papers, 1865-1984 (bulk 1920-1978) Yale University Library
referencedIn American Committee for the Guidance of Professional Personnel records, 1938-1945 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
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referencedIn Morgenthau, Hans J. (Hans Joachim), 1904-1980. Hans J. Morgenthau papers, 1858-1981 (bulk 1925-1981). Library of Congress
referencedIn Records of Radcliffe Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, 1907-1995 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1912-1987 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1927-1984 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Women's Equity Action League of Massachusetts. Records, 1971-1992 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Halle, Louis Joseph, 1910-. Papers of Louis J. Halle [manuscript], 1915-1985 bulk (1947-1985). University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Bernard Barber Papers, 1938-1988. Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Cora Alice Du Bois papers, 1869-1988 (inclusive), 1912-1985 (bulk) Tozzer Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
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referencedIn Barber, Bernard. Bernard Barber papers, 1938-1988. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Boorstin, Daniel J. (Daniel Joseph), 1914-2004. Daniel J. Boorstin papers, 1882-1995 (bulk 1944-1994). Library of Congress
referencedIn Hannah Arendt Papers, 1898-1977, (bulk 1948-1977) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn John P. Diggins papers, 1966-2008 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
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referencedIn Davis, Hope Hale. Papers, 1831-1835, 1916-2002 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949. Papers, 1872-1949 Houghton Library
referencedIn Freund, Paul A. Paul A. Freund papers. 1918-1993. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Magruder, Calvert, 1893-1968. Papers. 1920-1965 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Riesman, David, 1909-2002. Papers of David Riesman, ca. 1931-1988 (inclusive). Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Norman Thomas papers, 1904-1967, 1933-1967 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Wright, Quincy, 1890-1970. Papers, 1907-1972. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Erik H. and Joan M. Erikson papers, 1925-1985 (inclusive) 1960-1980 (bulk). Houghton Library
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referencedIn Bendix, Reinhard. Reinhard Bendix papers, 1929-1998. University at Albany, University Libraries
referencedIn Higgins, Mary Tyng, 1913-. Papers, 1912-1987 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Hughes, Everett Cherrington, 1897-. Papers, 1924-1982 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
creatorOf Riesman, David. Papers, 1947-1982 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Cowan, Paul. Papers, 1963-1987. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Herbert Gans Papers, 1944-2004. Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Robert A. Nisbet Papers, 1949-1994, (bulk 1953-1990) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Alumni Association (University of Michigan), Individual Photographs, ca. 1880-ca. 1960s Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
creatorOf Riesman, David, 1909-2002. Reminiscences of David Riesman : oral history, 1982. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Diggins, John P. John P. Diggins papers, 1966-2008. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Isidore Sydney Falk papers, 1918-1984 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Guide to the American Committee for Cultural Freedom Records, 1939-1957 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Richard Volney Chase Papers, ca.1930-1984. Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Papers, 1831-1835, 1916-2002 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Thomas, Norman, 1884-1968. Norman Thomas papers, 1904-1967, bulk (1933-1967). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Marshall, Lenore, 1897-1971. Papers, 1887-1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Lyman Bryson Papers, 1893-1978, (bulk 1917-1959) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Salvador E. Luria Papers, 1923-1992 American Philosophical Society
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Place Name Admin Code Country
Binghamton NY US
Cambridge MA US
Chicago IL US
Philadelphia PA US
Buffalo NY US
Subject
Education--Research
Sociologists--Interviews
Educator--Interviews
Sexism
Endowment of research
Women's colleges
Occupation
Sociologist
Professor
Attorney
Writer
Activity

Person

Birth 1909-09-22

Death 2002-05-10

Male

Americans

English

Information

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