Gerda Lerner: "In my courses, the teachers told me about a world in which ostensibly one-half the human race is doing everything significant and the other half doesn’t exist. I asked myself how this checked against my own life experience. ‘This is garbage; this is not the world in which I have lived,’ I said."
Feminist historian Gerda Lerner has passed away at 92. An original member of the National Organization for Women, Lerner was a pioneer in the field of women's history, teaching what is thought to be the first women’s history course in the world and later establishing the first women's history graduate program in the United States. She led a fascinating life. [more inside]
Influential Australian art critic Robert Hughes, author of The Shock of the New and The Fatal Shore, has died aged 74.
American historian John Hope Franklin died today at the age of 94. Among his many achievements: authoring From Slavery to Freedom: a History of African Americans. Originally published in 1947, it remains the standard work on African American history. Franklin also did research for the appellants in the historic Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court Case. [more inside]
Alison Des Forges, American historian of Africa, MacArthur genius and top human-rights advocate, was an impassioned observer of the Rwandan genocide, lobbying the United States and United Nations to intervene in the killings, saving some Rwandans from certain death, and later writing one of the definitive histories of the events, "Leave none to tell the story". She testified at hundreds of trials and inquiries resulting from the genocide. Last night, she perished aboard Flight 3407. "Her death is a devastating blow," said the president of Human Rights Watch, where she worked as an advisor. "She epitomized the human rights activist — principled, dispassionate, committed to the truth and to using that truth to protect ordinary people."