History Lessons: First jobs of famous historians

From Reuters - January 4, 2018

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Historians study the beginnings of things, even their first work experiences. For the latest in Reuters First Jobs series, we talked to a few prominent historians about their introductions to employment.

Drew Gilpin Faust

President, Harvard University; author, This Republic of Suffering

First job: HUD intern

I grew up in Virginias Shenandoah Valley. My first full-time job, after graduating from college, was working on the Model Cities Program for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Philadelphia.

This was back in 1968, so it turned out to be a pivotal time in the American experience. They had us go around to communities in states like Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland, talking to people about all the issues they faced. It was a real introduction to urban life for a girl who had grown up on a farm surrounded by horses, sheep, cows and pigs.

Mary Frances Berry

History Professor, University of Pennsylvania; author, Five Dollars and a Pork Chop Sandwich

First job: babysitter

When I was 11 or 12 I had a job taking care of a toddler in Nashville during the summer. One day, I saw phonograph records on the shelf, so I took some down and played them. One of them I really likedI think it was Beethovens symphonies. When the mother came home and I told her I really enjoyed her music, she got mad at me, because she hadnt told me I could touch them.


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