Donald S. Barnhart (July 18, 1925 – September 8, 2009) by Robert Higgs

October 23, 2013 0 Comments

In the fall of 1963, I moved from Fresno State College, where I had lately completed my sophomore year, plus enrolled inside San Francisco State College, where I studied for 2 years plus then was graduated inside 1965. By the beginning of my senior year, I had absolutely completed the needs for graduation because an economics main except for having the total amount of credit hours needed for a bachelor’s degree in almost any field. So, I solved which throughout my final year, I might take just guides inside that the professor was regarded as an great instructor, irrespective of topic or department.

In thus doing, I enrolled inside a course inside the Social Science Department called “Social Change inside Modern Latin America,” that was taught with a very suggested professor, Donald S. Barnhart. I loved the course immensely. The professor was indeed an great instructor, intellectually provocative plus masterful inside getting plus keeping the students’ rapt attention, plus I came away within the course having gained a lifelong interest inside Latin America. Noting which Barnhart had a Ph.D. inside history within the University of Chicago, I inferred, maybe too hastily, which there should be anything to the research of history—a topic regarding that I knew upcoming to nothing—if it produced these fine, knowledgeable teachers because he.

Later, having completed my senior year, I visited Barnhart inside his workplace to tell him which I knew pretty small regarding history however sought to discover more, plus to ask him to suggest a list of books for me to read inside this quest. He did thus, plus I read all 10 of the books he had suggested throughout the summer of 1965, before beginning graduate research inside economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, inside the fall. Although I didn't completely appreciate it at the time, I had been hooked about history. Two or 3 odd turns of fate later, whenever I was studying for my Ph.D. inside economics at Johns Hopkins, I started to concentrate inside financial history, a field which, generally construed, might occupy me to a better or lower extent for the rest of my existence.

When I completed the function for my Ph.D. at Hopkins inside the spring of 1968, I noted inside the preface of my dissertation my gratitude to people whom had trained me there, plus I added words of appreciation for Amor Gosfield, 1 of my professors at Santa Barbara, as well as for Barnhart. Of the latter, I wrote: “It was he that initially stimulated my famous interest. His training was an inspiration, plus his blending of history, economics, plus different social sciences offered an illustration of the possible fruitfulness of interdisciplinary research. Above all he encouraged me both explicitly plus by his illustration to travel the scholarly path, as well as for which I am profoundly grateful.”

A several years later, whenever I was training at the University of Washington, Barnhart wrote me to ask when I might write a letter of reference for him inside connection with his application for a Fulbright Fellowship to help him throughout a sabbatical year inside Peru. I was surprisingly happy to create the letter about his behalf, happy which I may, when just inside little measure, do anything to repay the guy that had performed thus much to set me about my profession path.

It is nothing from the average for a person’s lifetime to take unexpected turns—indeed, it will be stranger when one’s lifetime didn't do thus. I didn't go university to research history; I had small interest inside this topic till I occurred to encounter Barnhart plus found his training to be an inspiration. He established me because a sometime contributor to financial, demographic, plus political history. Whatever I have performed to create a mark inside these regions is traced back straight to him. I hope which the expressions of appreciation plus gratitude I prepared to him years ago really conveyed how much I owed him.

Donald Stanford Barnhart, following completing his graduate training at Chicago, taught history at the University of West Virginia plus did graduate function at the Wharton School at Penn. He taught at San Francisco State from 1960 till his retirement inside 1990. He died inside 2009 at 84 years old. He had been a really awesome instructor, plus I can not forget him.






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