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Bernard von Bothmer

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Bernard von Bothmer

For more than two decades, Bernard von Bothmer has immersed himself in the study and teaching of American history, with a particular focus on the events of the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, World War II, the 1960s, and contemporary political history. The author of the recently published book Framing the Sixties: The Use and Abuse of a Decade from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush, von Bothmer traces the myriad ways American politicians have used the 1960s, both positively and negatively. Through interviews with more than 120 speechwriters, journalists, historians, activists, and other individuals on all sides of the political spectrum, Bernard von Bothmer shows how major political candidates appeal to a diverse range of voter sensibilities by defining their personal relationships with the 1960s. Whether this means the “so-called good sixties” (civil rights movements, the Great Society, John F. Kennedy) or the so-called “bad sixties” (cultural upheaval, drug abuse, nationwide protests), he makes explicit connections between these phenomena and political ideologies, liberal and conservative. Released by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2010, Bernard von Bothmer’s Framing the Sixties garnered critical acclaim from academic and mainstream reviewers alike, with blurbs from such notable 60s historians and authors as Tom Brokaw, Douglas Brinkley, and Michael Kazin, along with praise from other American scholars. Since its publication, von Bothmer’s Framing the Sixties has enjoyed positive reviews in the Journal of American History; Presidential Studies Quarterly; The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture; CHOICE; American Chronicle; Midwest Book Review; and elsewhere.

Bernard von Bothmer has also contributed articles to War, Literature & the Arts—An International Journal of the Humanities (“Kennedy and Vietnam: The Politics of Oliver Stone’s JFK”) and Lincoln Lore (“Devout Believer or Skeptic Politician? An Overview of Historians’ Analyses of Abraham Lincoln’s Religion: 1959–2001”). An Adjunct Professor of History at the University of San Francisco (USF) and History Instructor at the Dominican University of California, Bernard von Bothmer won the USF Distinguished Lecturer Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010. A graduate of Indiana University, Stanford University, and Brown University, Bernard von Bothmer holds a PhD, an MA, and a BA from these respective institutions.

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