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ERIC Number: EJ955130
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
Review Essay: Recent Additions to the Rosenwald Historiography
Beilke, Jayne R.
History of Education Quarterly, v51 n4 p544-553 Nov 2011
This essay reviews two books on Julius Rosenwald and the Rosenwald Fund and places them within the historiography of the Fund. "Julius Rosenwald: The Man Who Built Sears, Roebuck and Advanced the Cause of Black Education in the American South," is a biography written by Peter M. Ascoli. The book entitled "The Rosenwald Schools of the American South" written by Mary S. Hoffschwelle is a study of the rural school-building program with which the Fund is most closely associated. A grandson of Rosenwald and historian in his own right, Ascoli had access to family records that have resulted in a personal yet informative study. Since Rosenwald died ten years before Ascoli was born, his introduction to his grandfather occurred through the stories told by his mother, Marion (the fourth of Julius and Augusta's five children) of her youth in Chicago. Ascoli's biography of JR (the nickname of Rosenwald) extends the initial efforts of Ascoli's cousin, Philip Stern, who began research for a biography during the mid-1980s. Hoffschwelle's book represents a comprehensive history of the Rosenwald school-building program, which served as the impetus for the erection of over five thousand school buildings in fifteen southern states from 1912 to 1932. According to Hoffschwelle, Rosenwald developed an interest in education for African-Americans living in the South as a result of his friendship with Booker T. Washington. He became a trustee of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, founded by Washington in 1881. At Washington's urging, Rosenwald began to monetarily support Tuskegee and to subsequently fund a school-building program in rural Alabama that eventually spread throughout the South. The school-building program became the signature initiative of the Rosenwald Fund. While these works by Ascoli and Hoffschwelle offer up no startling revelations or dramatic interpretive shifts, they provide important contextual clues that expand the understanding of Rosenwald, the Fund, and the intersection of the Fund's white agents and southern African Americans. As a result, both books contribute more broadly to studies in philanthropy, Jewish history, African-American history, and architecture. Taken together, they further the understanding of the programmatic and personal inner workings of the Fund widely considered to have, according to historian Henry Allen Bullock,20 "permeated the educational experiences of the Negro more deeply than that of any other fund" (p. 138). (Contains 20 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama