Thomas E. Skidmore '54

Philosophy Philosophy, Politics & Economics
May 29, 2013

Thomas E. Skidmore is a Professor Emeritus of History at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

Professor Skidmore writes, “As an undergraduate I was attracted to the strong teaching program of Professors Harold Titus and Maylon Hepp. I wrote a senior honors thesis under Professor Titus's supervision, on 'Ethical Dilemmas Facing the Individual' (1954), which wrestled in the Korean War context with the question of pacifism versus military service.”

After graduating from Denison, Professor Skidmore received a Fulbright Fellowship to study Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford University's Magdalen College. Of the four Philosophy topics available for specialization he chose the Philosophy of Kant and Logic.  His two principal tutors were T. D. Weldon [Ethics and Kant] and Oscar Wood [Logic].

During his two years at Oxford he found his interests shifting to history.  Acting on that preference, he applied to study modern European History at Harvard, starting in the fall of 1956. After writing a dissertation on 19th century German constitutional history, Harvard offered him in 1961 a post-doctoral fellowship to change his history specialty to Modern Latin America (Harvard's reaction to the rise of Fidel). Choosing primarily Brazil, he then went on to teach and do research at Harvard, Wisconsin, and Brown.

While in retirement, Professor Skidmore has finished two textbook revisions for publication this year: Modern Latin America (with Peter Smith and James Green), 7th edition, Oxford University Press and Brazil: Five Centuries of Change, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press. “Since my days at Denison,” Professor Skidmore writes, “my philosophy education has enriched my professional work in history immeasurably. Thank you, Harold and Maylon.”

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