Robert Dallek: American historian specializing in American presidents (1934-) | Biography
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Robert Dallek
American historian specializing in American presidents

Robert Dallek

Robert Dallek
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American historian specializing in American presidents
Is Historian
From United States of America
Field Social science
Gender male
Birth 16 May 1934, Brooklyn, USA
Age 89 years
Star sign Taurus
Residence California, USA
University of Illinois system
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Bachelor of Arts (-1955)
Columbia University Master of Arts (-1957)
Columbia University doctorate (-1964)
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship  
Bancroft Prize 1980
The details (from wikipedia)


Robert A. Dallek (born May 16, 1934) is an American historian specializing in the presidents of the United States, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. He retired as a history professor at Boston University in 2004 and previously taught at Columbia University, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Oxford University. He won the Bancroft Prize for his 1979 book Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932–1945 as well as other awards for scholarship and teaching.

Personal life

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dallek is the son of Rubin (a business-machine dealer) and Esther (Fisher) Dallek.

Dallek attended the University of Illinois, graduating with a B.A. in history in June 1955. He did graduate work at Columbia University, earning an M.A. in February 1957, and a Ph.D. in June 1964. While working on his Ph.D., he was a history instructor at Columbia.

He married Geraldine Kronmal (a policy health analyst) on August 22, 1965.

Academic career

In 1964-1994 Dallek advanced from assistant to full professor of history at the Department of History at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). From 1966 to 1968 he was a graduate adviser. From 1972 to 1974 he served as vice chair of the department. From 1981 to 1985 he was a research associate at the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute. In 1993 he was a visiting professor at the California Institute of Technology, and from 1994 to 1995 he was the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University, which in 1995 awarded him an honorary M.A.

Since 1996 Dallek has been a visiting professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and a professor of history at Boston University. From 2004 to 2005 he was Montgomery Fellow and a visiting professor in the history and government departments at Dartmouth College.

Dallek is a member of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963

In 2003, Dallek published the New York Times Bestseller An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963, the first major biography of John F. Kennedy in almost 40 years. Based on archival resources and unprecedented access to his medical records, it revealed his secret struggle with major health problems as well as his love affairs, the backstage role of his father, his appointment of his brother Robert F. Kennedy to the office of United States Attorney General, and speculations about what the President would have done about the Vietnam War if he had lived.

Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power

In 2007 Dallek published Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power, which claims that they were visionaries and cynics at the same time, in an attempt to explain the ups and down of their diplomatic careers. "The careers of both Nixon and Kissinger reflect the extent to which great accomplishments and public wrongdoing can spring from inner lives." The book was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in History.



  • Democrat and Diplomat: The Life of William E. Dodd (New York: Oxford University Press, 1968) read online
  • 1898: McKinley's Decision – The United States Declares War on Spain (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1969) read online
  • The Roosevelt Diplomacy and World War II (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970) read online
  • The Dynamics of World Power: Western Europe (with Robert N. Burr and Walter LaFeber) (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1973) read online
  • The Dynamics of World Power: A Documentary History of United States Foreign Policy, 1945-1973 (ed. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., with Robert N. Burr, and Walter LaFeber) (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1973) read online
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932–1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979) (Bancroft Prize) read online
  • The American Style of Foreign Policy: Cultural Politics and Foreign Affairs (New York: Knopf, 1983) read online
  • Ronald Reagan: The Politics of Symbolism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984, ISBN 978-0-674-77941-9) read online
  • Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and his Times, 1908–1960 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991) read online read online
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt as World Leader: An Inaugural Lecture Delivered before the University of Oxford on 16 May 1995 (New York: Clarendon Press, 1995)
  • Hail to the Chief: The Making and Unmaking of American Presidents (New York: Hyperion, 1996) read online
  • Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and his Times, 1961–1973 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998) read online
  • An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2003)
  • Lyndon B. Johnson: Portrait of a President (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) read online
  • Lessons from the Lives and Times of Presidents (Richmond, Virginia: University of Richmond, 2004) read online
  • Let Every Nation Know: John F. Kennedy in His Own Words (with Terry Golway) (Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2006) read online
  • Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power (New York: HarperCollins, 2007) Review in New York Times
  • Harry S. Truman: The 33rd President, 1945-1953 (Times Books, 2008, ISBN 978-0-8050-6938-9)
  • The Lost Peace: Leadership in a Time of Horror and Hope, 1945–1953 (HarperCollins, 2010, ISBN 978-0-06-162866-5) Review in Foreign Affairs
  • Camelot's Court: Inside the Kennedy White House (New York: HarperCollins, 2013) Review in Washington Post
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life (New York: Viking, 2017, ISBN 9780525427902)

Journal articles

  • 'Franklin Roosevelt as world leader', The American Historical Review, 76 (1971): 1503–1513
  • 'National mood and American foreign policy: a suggestive essay', American Quarterly, 34 (1982): 229–261
  • 'Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam: the making of a tragedy', Diplomatic History, 20 (1996): 147
  • 'Tales of the tapes', Reviews in American History, 26 (1998): 333–338
  • 'John F. Kennedy's Civil Rights Quandary.' American History 38.3 (2003): 36

Essays in edited volumes

  • American perceptions of the Soviet Union, in Abbott Gleason (ed.), Cold War-Cold Peace: Soviet American Relations, 1933–1983 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1975)
  • 'Triumphant America in a shaken world', in Sanford J. Ungar (ed.), Estrangement: America and the World(New York: Oxford University Press, 1985)
  • When Presidents Become Weak, in Walter Isaacson (ed.), Profiles in Leadership: Historians on the Elusive Quality of Greatness (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2011)

TV appearances

Dallek appeared on The Daily Show in July 2007. He has made numerous appearances on CNN and on public television and radio, including several on-camera comments included the History Channel's "JFK:A Presidency Revealed" and the American Experience biographies "F.D.R." and "LBJ."

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 31 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is Robert Dallek?
A: Robert Dallek is an American historian and a professor of history, specializing in the presidency of the United States. He is best known for his biographies of U.S. presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Q: What are some of Robert Dallek's notable works?
A: Some of Robert Dallek's notable works include "An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963," "Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power," "Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times," and "Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945."
Q: Has Robert Dallek won any awards for his work?
A: Yes, Robert Dallek has received several awards for his contributions to historical research and writing. He was awarded the Bancroft Prize for Biography for his book "Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945," as well as the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for "An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963."
Q: Is Robert Dallek still active in his career?
A: Yes, Robert Dallek is still active in his career. He continues to write and publish books on American presidents and history. Additionally, he is frequently invited to give lectures and appears as a guest expert on television programs and documentaries.
Q: What is Robert Dallek's educational background?
A: Robert Dallek holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois, a Master of Arts degree from Duke University, and a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University. He has also taught at several prestigious universities, including Columbia University and Boston University.
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