Merle Curti

American historian

Merle Eugene Curti (September 15, 1897 – March 9, 1996) was a leading American historian, who taught many graduate students at Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin, and was a leader in developing the fields of social history and intellectual history. He was a member of the American Philosophical Society (1948).



"Intellectuals and Other People" (1954)

"Intellectuals and Other People", A paper read at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, held in New York, December 29, 1954. Published in the American Historical Review 60, no. 2 (Feb., 1955): 259–282
  • The ivory tower can become a pretty dull place, and rather unproductive, too.
  • While appraising all aspects of the past, including myths, we must at the same time uphold the critical function that is the basis of all scholarship, indeed, of civilization itself. For this we also need to recognize clearly the sources of irrationality in history, in our culture, in ourselves.
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