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Noted Historian Commager Dies

Tue., March 3, 1998

Henry Steele Commager, a prolific American historian who believed the U.S. Constitution was the “greatest monument to political science in literature,” died Monday. He was 95.

Commager, who died at his home in Amherst, wrote a body of works spanning much of this nation’s history. But his best-known was probably “The Growth of the American Republic.” Through its many revisions, the book served as one of the standard college texts for generations of students.

But his impact went far beyond fellow historians and students. Commager wrote as much for the popular press as for the scholarly journals.

Commager, who earned his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1928, also wrote “Theodore Parker,” 1936; “Majority Rule and Minority Rights,” 1943; “The Story of the Second World War,” 1945; “The American Mind,” 1951; “The Commonwealth of Learning,” 1968; “Jefferson, Nationalism and Enlightenment,” 1975; “The Empire of Reason,” 1977; and “This Day and Generation,” with Edward Kennedy, 1979.


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