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UMass Sesquicentennial

University of Massachusetts Amherst

History Department

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Gerald McFarland

Portrait of Gerry McFarland Professor Emeritus


Degree: Ph.D., Columbia (1965).
Field(s) of interest: Modern U.S.

Graduate Courses Offered:
Research Seminar: U.S. West/Borderlands (Not Online)

Research Interests and Professional Activities:
Teaching U.S. history in college has been everything that I hoped it would be when I first chose that career track as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley. I was excited about the prospect of being a life-long student of history, and college students promised to be more stimulating intellectually than younger students. Also, ever since I published my first article at age eight in a local newspaper’s Sunday children’s section, I’d known that I wanted to be a writer. So the requirement that I publish was always an attractive feature of being a professor at a research university. I soon found my main research focus in nineteenth-century U.S. history, and I’ve enjoyed coming at the 1812-1920 period from a variety of angles: political history, social history, borderlands history, and urban history.

Phi Beta Kappa, 1959
B.A. with Highest Honors in History, U.C. Berkeley, 1960
Woodrow Wilson Graduate Fellowship, 1960-1964
Meyre Padve Masters Essay Prize, Columbia University, 1962
Danforth Graduate Fellowship, 1960-1964
Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellow, 1964
Grant-in-Aid, American Council of Learned Societies, 1971-1972
John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, 1978-1979
Conti Research Fellowship, 1992-1993
American Philosophical Society Research Grant, 1995
College of Humanities & Fine Arts Outstanding Teacher Award, 2002

Sample Writings:

Mugwumps, Morals, and Politics, 1884-1920 (Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, 1975).

Moralists or Pragmatists? The Mugwumps, 1884-1900: An Anthology (Editor) (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1975).

A Scattered People: An American Family Moves West (New York: Pantheon Books, 1985); paperback edition (New York: Penguin Books, 1987); Spanish-language edition (Mexico City: Edamex, 1987); second paperback edition (Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, 1991); third paperback edition (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2000).

The "Counterfeit" Man: The True Story of the Boorn-Colvin Murder Case (New York: Pantheon Books, 1991); paperback edition (Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, 1993); deluxe Notable American Trials edition, with an introduction by Alan M. Dershowitz (New York: Gryphon Editions, 2000).

Inside Greenwich Village: A New York City Neighborhood, 1898-1918 (Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001).