Gertrude Himmelfarb (aka Bea Kristol) was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1922. She graduated with an undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College and a doctorate from the University of Chicago.
Himmelfarb is very widely respected for her conservative viewpoint of history, earning praise from both conservative and liberal readers. Her work has focused primarily on Victorian England, and it is her belief that the Victorian era, with its adherence to more traditional mores such as civility, moderation, and decorum, has much to teach us today.
A champion for traditional historical research and methods, she has thus far rejected more modern approaches that focus on quantitative measures or views of history that focus on the experiences of everyday people, a micro-lens, if you will, rather than macro-forces such as politics and the history of powerful people. With her husband, Irving Kristol, the founder of neoconservatism, she has championed conservatism through political and intellectual activism. She has authored more than a dozen books, most regarding the Victorian era and Victorian virtues.
Himmelfarb has been the recipient of many honors, serving as a Fellow for the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Historical Society, and was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2004.
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