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Pauline Maier (1938–2013)

Autor(a) de American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence

8+ Works 1,778 Membros 15 Críticas 3 Favorited

About the Author

Pauline Maier was born on April 27, 1938 in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received an undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Radcliffe College in 1960, studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science on a Fulbright scholarship, and received a Ph.D. in history from mostrar mais Harvard University. She was a history professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for three decades. She wrote several books including From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765-1776, The Old Revolutionaries: Political Lives in the Age of Samuel Adams, and American Sculpture: Making the Declaration of Independence. She won the George Washington Book Prize for Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788. She died of lung cancer on August 12, 2013 at the age of 75. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Includes the name: Pauline Maier

Obras por Pauline Maier

Associated Works

The Declaration of Independence / The Constitution of the United States (1776) — Introdução, algumas edições1,919 exemplares
Thomas Jefferson: Genius of Liberty (2000) — Contribuidor — 84 exemplares
The development of a revolutionary mentality; papers (1972) — Contribuidor — 22 exemplares
The Southern experience in the American Revolution (1978) — Contribuidor — 11 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Nome canónico
Maier, Pauline
Nome legal
Maier, Pauline Alice (née Rubbelke)
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Localização do túmulo
Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Local de nascimento
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Local de falecimento
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Causa da morte
lung cancer
Locais de residência
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Radcliffe College (BA ∙ 1960)
Harvard University (PhD ∙ 1968)
London School of Economics (1961)
professor (American History)
Maier, Charles S. (husband)
Maier, Jessica (daughter)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
American Antiquarian Society (1976)
Society of American Historians (president, 2011)
Harvard Crimson
Prémios e menções honrosas
Fulbright Fellowship (1961)
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1998)

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Pauline Rubbelke was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her original ambition was to be a newspaper reporter. At Radcliffe College, she wrote for The Harvard Crimson, where she met her future husband, Charles S. Maier, and worked summers at the Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass. After graduation, Pauline and Charles both went to England for further study, she as a Fulbright Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science. After completing their fellowships, they married and eventually had three children. Back at Harvard University to pursue her PhD degree, Pauline Maier was drawn to the study of the 18th century and the American Revolutionary War era. She taught at the University of Massachusetts Boston for nine years, and for a year at the University of Wisconsin before joining the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978 as Kenan Professor of American History. In 1998, she won MIT's Killian Award, given annually to a senior member of the faculty for outstanding achievement. She also was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was the 2011 President of the Society of American Historians. Pauline Maier is the author of numerous scholarly articles and books, including From Resistance to Revolution (1972).



interesting to see the different declarations from the colonies and the works that influenced Jefferson in writing the declaration.
cspiwak | 9 outras críticas | Mar 6, 2024 |
Ms' Maier's approach finally answers some very old question.The Declaration is examined for source documents, authorship. Well written and solid with details.
Jaroslav_Peterka | 9 outras críticas | Mar 27, 2023 |
Every year on the Fourth of July, Americans gather together to eat grilled food and set off fireworks in celebration of the founding of their nation. The day is regarded as the nation’s birthday, yet the choice of date is in some respects an arbitrary one. Arguably as good of a case could be made for the nation’s birth taking place on the date of the battles of Lexington and Concord or the convening of the Second Continental Congress in 1775, or with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, or the establishment of the Constitution of the United States in 1788. Instead, the date of July 4, 1776 is regarded as the day the United States was born, because it was on that date that a particular document was signed.

That document, of course, was the Declaration of Independence. As a statement of the reasons the colonies were seeking independence, it served as a bill of charges that justified the extraordinary actions the revolutionaries undertook. With the Revolution won the generations that followed came to revere the Declaration as a statement of the values on which the new republic was based. Yet as Pauline Maier shows, such veneration has had the effect of reshaping the role of the Declaration in ways unimagined by the people who signed it. Her book demonstrates this by deconstructing the process that created the Declaration and examining how it subsequently gained the iconic status it enjoys today.

As Maier notes, the revolutionaries approached the act of declaring independence cautiously. Even after the outbreak of fighting against British troops, many of the members of the Continental Congress balked at the prospect of declaring independence. Some delegates balked at the idea of separation from the British empire and the risks such a move entailed, while others felt constrained by their instructions from their state’s legislatures, which did not authorize such a step. Moreover, the question of declaring independence was just one of the many war-related issues before a heavily burdened body, some of which were of greater urgency. Because of this, it wasn’t until April 1776 – a full year after the outbreak of fighting between colonial forces and British troops – that the Continental Congress committed to pursuing independence.

The Congress assigned the task of drafting the declaration to a five-person committee. Though the committee left no minutes of its proceedings, Maier sifts through the participants’ (oftentimes contradictory) recollections and the surviving documentary record to detail the process. Thomas Jefferson is naturally at the center of her narrative, as breaks down his work to show the elements that reflected its inheritance from similar English and colonial declarations of rights. Yet while giving Jefferson due credit for his role, she also describes the contributions made, by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and others in the Continental Congress, who took Jefferson’s hastily-assembled draft and edited to down into the final document with which we are familiar. In the process she makes a convincing case for the Declaration as having improved on the product of Jefferson’s pen.

Once it was signed the Declaration was disseminated quickly throughout the rebelling colonies. Though it was preceded by some of the declarations issued by individual states, localities, and other groups, Maier sees its influence in the ones issued from that point onward. By the end of the war, however, the Declaration virtually disappeared from the discourse as Americans focused on the challenges of building a new nation. This changed with the rise of party politics in the 1790s, as Jefferson’s supporters began celebrating the document as the product of his genius. The stature of the Declaration grew as a new generation of Americans began to revere the revolutionary generation and its achievements. Among their number was Abraham Lincoln, whom Maier credits with doing more than any other single person to empower the Declaration as a document defining the nation’s principles, giving it its continuing relevancy for Americans down to the present day.

Meier recounts all of this in a deftly-written text is easily accessible for the general reader. It’s an outstanding work of scholarship, and all the more so for the modesty of her claims. While she acknowledges her debt to Carl Becker’s classicThe Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas and disclaims any intention of duplicating his work, she builds nicely upon it to offer a fuller understanding of the document and its legacy. It makes for a book that joins Becker’s work as essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the Declaration and why it continues to matter today.
… (mais)
MacDad | 9 outras críticas | May 29, 2021 |
I had heard a lot about this book, all of it positive, and so had added it to my pile of books to read, which now I'm slowly working my way through.

The first three sections of the book focus on setting the textual context around which the wording of the Declaration came to be - it describes the many "other Declarations" from states and localities also being produced in the early Revolutionary timeframe, and the debt owed to the English tradition of Declarations, especially the Declaration of Rights of 1689, all of which I was unaware of before. There's also a section delving into the authorship (as opposed to drafting) of the document. This history focuses on the wording of the document, more so than the Revolutionary events around it. The author clearly knows her stuff (it's one of those books where you want to make sure you check out the footnotes as there's some good stuff in there), and she keeps it interesting, in plain and engaging language.

In the introduction the author sets the goal of telling two stories - one of the original making of the Declaration, and the other of the "remaking into the document most Americans know, remember and revere". She's very thorough in telling the first story, as mentioned above, but as to the second story things are not nearly as complete. This second story comes in the fourth and final part of the book and mostly revolves around the case she makes for Lincoln "remaking" the document into a statement of principals around equality. The epilogue includes a brief mention of Martin Luther King, and then the book is done. I felt there was much more of that second story to tell that she left untold.
… (mais)
stevesbookstuff | 9 outras críticas | Nov 7, 2020 |



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