Lawrence W. Levine

Quick Facts

IntroAmerican historian
Was Historian
From United States of America

Social science

Birth27 February 1933
Death 23 October 2006
(aged 73 years)


Lawrence William Levine (February 27, 1933 – October 23, 2006) was an American historian. He was born in Manhattan and died in Berkeley, California. He was noted for promoting multiculturalism and the perspectives of ordinary people in the study of history.


He graduated from the City College of New York in 1955, and from Columbia University, with a master’s degree and a doctorate in 1962, where he studied under Richard Hofstadter. He taught at Princeton University from 1962-1963, and then at the University of California at Berkeley from 1963 to 1994. After retiring from Berkeley, he taught at George Mason University from 1994 to 2005.

He participated in civil rights sit-ins at Berkeley and in the South, and the Free Speech Movement.

He married Cornelia Roettcher Levine in 1964, with whom he wrote “The People and the President: America’s Conversation with FDR”; they had two sons, Joshua Levine and Isaac Levine, and a stepson, Alexander Pimentel.

Awards and honors

Levine was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1983, elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1985, and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1994. He was president of the Organization of American Historians in 1992-93. An award in his name is given by the Organization of American Historians.


  • Levine, Lawrence W. (1965). Defender of the Faith: William Jennings Bryan, the Last Decade, 1915-1925. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-19542-4.  (reprint Harvard University Press, 1987, ISBN 978-0-674-19542-4)
  • Levine, Lawrence W. (1978). Black Culture and Black Consciousness: Afro-American Folk Thought from Slavery to Freedom. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-502374-9. 
  • Levine, Lawrence W. (1990). Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-39077-5. 
  • Levine, Lawrence W. (1993). The Unpredictable Past: Explorations in American Cultural History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-508297-5. 
  • Levine, Lawrence W. (1997). The Opening of the American Mind: Canons, Culture and History. Beacon Press. ISBN 978-0-8070-3119-3. 
  • Lawrence W. Levine and Cornelia R. Levine (2002). The People and the President: America’s Conversation with FDR. Beacon Press. ISBN 978-0-8070-5510-6. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)