Thomas A. Bailey

American historian (1902-1983)

Thomas Andrew Bailey (December 14, 1902July 26, 1983) was an American historian based at Stanford University, who specialised in diplomatic history. His best-known work may be The American Pageant.


  • The teacher asked us to write an essay based on an artist's visual version of the cold and other hardships endured by Washington's men at Valley Forge. I dashed off a page or so of commentary, which brought from the teacher public commendation for my historical empathy and perception. This juvenile effort may have influenced my instructor when he gave me a grade on my report card of 100 percent in history. I thought then, and still think, that no pupil is worth 100 percent in history.
    • The American Pageant Revisited, p. 9
  • Vietnam is the dead albatross around Johnson's neck that may pull him down.
  • The two-thirds rule [of the Senate], which can be changed only by constitutional amendment, will no doubt continue for a long time to come. Like monogamy, it is not completely satisfactory, but, like monogamy, it has won general if somewhat grudging acquiescence.
    • A Diplomatic History of the American People, 7th ed., p. 17
  • Too many so-called historians are really 'hysterians'; their thinking is more visceral than cerebral. When their duties as citizens clash with their responsibilities as scholars, Clio frequently takes a back seat.
    • Essays Diplomatic and Undiplomatic of Thomas A. Bailey (1969), p. 10
  • Too many historical writers are the votaries of cults, which, by definition are dedicated to whitewashing warts and hanging halos.
    • Essays Diplomatic and Undiplomatic of Thomas A. Bailey (1969), p. 15
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