Benjamin I. Schwartz

Benjamin I. Schwartz
Born Benjamin Isadore Schwartz
(1916-12-12)December 12, 1916
Died November 14, 1999(1999-11-14) (aged 82)
Alma mater Harvard University(B.A., M.A., Ph.D. )
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 史華慈
Simplified Chinese 史华慈

Benjamin Isadore Schwartz (December 12, 1916 – November 14, 1999) was an American academic, author and sinologist.[1][2]

Educational background

Schwartz graduated from Harvard University in 1938 in modern languages, with an honors thesis on Pascal and the XVIIIth century "philosophes" [3] and started a career in school teaching before studying Japanese during the Second World War and working on code-breaking. After the war he studied an M.A. in East Asian studies at Harvard and went on to gain a Ph.D. there.[1]


Schwartz was a member of the Harvard faculty, teaching in Cambridge until he retired in 1987.

In 1983-1984, Schwartz served as acting director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.[4]

A festschrift in his honour was held after his retirement, and published in 1990 as Ideas across cultures: essays on Chinese thought in honor of Benjamin I. Schwarz (ISBN 978-0-674-44225-2) and published by the Harvard University Asia Center.

He wrote principally on recent situations in China. His first book in that area was Chinese communism and the rise of Mao (1951), held in 1546 academic libraries.[5] He subsequently wrote: Communism and China; ideology in flux published by Harvard University Press in 1968, held in 929 libraries according to WorldCat,[6] and edited the symposium Reflections on the May Fourth movement: a symposium. East Asian Research Center, Harvard University; distributed by Harvard University Press, 1972.[7] Near the end of his career in 1996 he wrote China and Other Matters Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press [8]

He also wrote on earlier periods. His 1985 book The World of Thought in Ancient China was published by Harvard University Press, and is held in 850 libraries, according to WorldCat. It was reviewed in The American Historical Review,[9] Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies,[10] Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies,[11] China Quarterly,[12] The Journal of Asian Studies,[13] Philosophy East and West,[14] Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews,[15] and The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs.[16]

Selected works


  1. 1 2 Cohen, Paul A.; Merle Goldman (1990). "Introduction". Ideas across cultures: essays on Chinese thought in honor of Benjamin I. Schwartz. Harvard University Asia Center. pp. 1–7. ISBN 978-0-674-44225-2. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
  2. Butterfield, Fox (November 18, 1999). "Benjamin Schwartz, 82, Dies; Expert on Mao's Revolution". New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
  3. WorldCat record for Schwartz's thesis
  4. Suleski, Ronald Stanley. (2005). The Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard University, p. 76.
  5. WorldCat record for Chinese Communism and the Rise of Mao
  6. WorldCat record for Communism and China
  7. WorldCat record for Reflections on the May Fourth Movement
  8. WorldCat record for China and Other Matters
  9. The American Historical Review, Jun., 1987, vol. 92, no. 3, p. 720-721
  10. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1988, vol. 51, no. 2, p. 370-371
  11. Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies
  12. China Quarterly Mar., 1988, no. 113, p. 132-134
  13. The Journal of Asian Studies, Aug., 1988, vol. 47, no. 3, p. 621-623
  14. Philosophy East and West, Oct., 1988, vol. 38, no. 4, p. 411-419
  15. Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews, Jul., 1987, vol. 9, no. 1/2, p. 161
  16. The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs, Jan., 1986, no. 15, p. 150-153.


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