My Family in American History

William A. Link

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"Combining the objectivity of the historian with the personal insights of a son, Bill Link has written an engaging account of his father, the eminent historian Arthur Link, and his mother, Margaret, a scholar in her own right and who with devotion and kindness raised a family of four children. Along the way we encounter Senators George McGovern and Bill Bradley, students of the elder Link, as well as his dear friend and colleague the iconic historian John Hope Franklin. Anyone interested in the American South, the history profession, the politics of higher education, and the triumphs and tragedies of a notable American family will want to read this book."--Steven F. Lawson, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University

"Links is a beautifully evocative, richly detailed account of the personal histories and half-century-long partnership of Margaret and Arthur Link, two remarkable individuals who happen to be the parents of the highly accomplished, clear-eyed, deeply insightful author."--Nancy Weiss Malkiel, Princeton University

"The story of two remarkable people and their journey through life, of how they formed a unique partnership, based on a deep love and mutual respect, that enabled Arthur Link to become one of the most productive and accomplished historians of his generation."--Charles E. Neu, Brown University

Arthur Link (1920-1998) was one of the great historians of his generation, a prolific author with a wide following inside and outside the profession. For many years the foremost authority on Woodrow Wilson, he wrote a five-volume biography of the president and edited a sixty-nine volume edition of Wilson’s papers.
Margaret Link (1918-1996), his wife and fellow North Carolinian, was the emotional core of the family. As an activist, she helped form an interdenominational crisis ministry in Princeton that reached out to the poor with counseling, clothing, and food, and she was a cofounder and president of the Association for the Advancement of Mental Health.
In Links, their youngest son--an accomplished and award-winning historian--offers a moving and unsentimental biography of two individuals who experienced the intense change and tumult of the South during the mid-twentieth century. Drawing from a rich trove of letters, interviews with friends and family, and unique insights, Link offers a highly detailed, evocative portrait of the coming of age and lifelong partnership of his parents. Links combines the objectivity and critical judgment of the professional historian with the subjectivity and deep emotional connection of the memoirist who participated directly in part of the story.

William A. Link is the Richard J. Milbauer Professor of History at the University of Florida. He is the author of numerous books, including William Friday: Power and Purpose in American Higher Education and Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism.

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Florida Book Award for General Nonfiction, Silver - 2012

"Particularly effective in describing and contextualizing the primary transitions in Arthur Link's career--discovering the Woodrow Wilson papers while in graduate school, winning a Princeton University appointment, leaving the university in 1949, and returning to it in 1960--and the ways in which these transitions affected the family."
--The North Carolina Historical Review

"This engaging book tells multiple stories well."
--The Journal of Southern History

"Link, himself an accomplished and award-winning historian, puts his parents’ lives in context of a world-changing era whose elements included World War II, the coming of integration, and the Cold War."
--Forum Magazine

“An interesting… portrait of a hard-working historian who was almost fanatically devoted to his calling.”
--Florida Historical Quarterly

“The story of the remarkable partnership of two southern-born intellectuals who navigated the rapidly-changing America of the mid-twentieth century… Links offers fresh insights into the changes in the post-war South.”
--The Journal of Southern Religion

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