Robert H. Ferrell, 1921-2018

We are sorry to announce the death of author and American historian, Robert H. Ferrell, who died on August 8th at the age of 97. The New York Times gives a very nice account of his life in their obituary.

Today, we feature a tribute to Ferrell from friends and former students in the form of a book the University of Missouri Press published several years ago: Presidents, Diplomats, and Other Mortals, edited by J. Garry Clifford and Theodore A. Wilson.

The Ferrell contribution rests on the special qualities of his scholarship, expressed with grace and economy, and often with humor, over the past half century. To say that he is a prolific scholar does not do justice to the stream of books—monographs, surveys, diaries, memoirs, texts, and documents—he has written or edited since the publication of his first book in 1952. They number more than fifty…

Yet it is arguable in light of the recollections of his students that his influence as a teacher may have been more significant than his accomplishments as a writer.—Lawrence Kaplan

The authors of this tribute sought to exemplify the scholarly standards of narrative diplomatic history espoused by Ferrell—especially the notion that historians should attempt to explain fully the circumstances, opportunities, and pressures that influence foreign policy decisions while remembering that historical actors cannot with certainty predict the outcomes of their actions.

Presidents, Diplomats

Presidents, Diplomats, and Other Mortals
J. Garry Clifford, Theodore A. Wilson
9780826217479 • hardcover • 352 pp. • $50.00


Robert Ferrell wrote and edited more than 60 (!) books in his lifetime and published more than 20 with the University of Missouri Press. Here are a just a few:

HST a life         Autobio of HST         Five Days

Collapse at Meuse         9780826212030         9780826220608

Harry S. Truman: A Life
97808262105000 • paperback • 520 pp. • 32 illus. • $29.95

The Autobiography of Harry S. Truman
9780826214454 • paperback • 160 pp. • 32 illus. • $19.95

Five Days in October: The Lost Battalion of World War I
9780826220738 • paperback • 152 pp. • 17 illus. • $19.95

Collapse at Meuse-Argonne: The Failure of the Missouri-Kansas Division
9780826221421 • paperback • 176 pp. • 21 illus. • $24.95

Harry S. Truman and the Cold War Revisionists
9780826220608 • paperback • 160 pp. • $19.95

Dear Bess: The Letters from Harry to Bess Truman, 1910-1959
9780826212030 • paperback • 608 pp. • 55 illus. • $34.95

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