American Portraits is a two-volume collection of biographical profiles designed to supplement American History survey texts. Biography personalizes history in a unique and profound way for students, lending a sense of immediacy to the study of the past. All of the essays selected for this anthology profile the life of a given individual and explore how that person influenced and was influenced by broader historical forces. Introductions begin each part, placing the biographies in topical and chronological perspective. Supporting documents, headnotes, and discussion questions help students place the biographies in context.
Stephen Weisner received his B.A. from Richmond College of the City University of New York and his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is currently Professor of History and the Honors Programs at Springfield Technical Community College. He is the author of Embattled Editor: The Life of Samuel Bowles (1986), Samuel Bowles and the Springfield Republican in Springfield, 1636-1986 (1987), "Biographical Portraits of Samuel Bowles I and II" in American National Biography (1999), "Governor Rueben Fenton" in The Encyclopedia of the American Civil War (2000), and the forthcoming Horace Greeley: 19th Century Newspaper Editor. He was the recipient of a Distinguished Service Award at S.T.C.C. in 1982, the Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year Award in 1988, and a National Excellence in Teaching Award in 1989.
William Hartford received his B.A. and his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Currently, he is a Project Editor at National Evaluations Systems in Amherst, MA as well as a professional writer. He is the author of the article "Unions, Labor Markets, and Deindustrialization: The Holyoke Textile Industry," in Labor in Massachusetts: Selected Essays (1990), the books, Working People of Holyoke: Class and Ethnicity in a Massachusetts Mill Town, 1860-1960 (1996), Where is our Responsibility? Unions and Economic Change in the New England Textile Industry, 1870-1960 (1996), and co-author of Commonwealth of Toil: Chapters in the History of Massachusetts Workers and Their Unions (1996).