Thursday, August 15, 2013
Pauline Maier has passed on. She was a professor at MIT and
a prominent scholar of the late American colonial history, the American
Revolution, and the Founding period. Legal writers may be interested in
Wikipedia’s description of her writing and research styles:
Maier’s writing is characterized as serious and unadorned, with a crossover
appeal from scholars to intelligent readers who enjoy a well-told story of
well-researched scholarly history.
In 'Ratification', Maier attributed her masterful storytelling to Barbara
Tuchman’s insight that the writer can build suspense by never acknowledging
a development until the characters in the narrative could know it.
Professionally, her research-writing technique is self-described as looking for something comparative to come up with new questions. For example, in “American Scripture” she found over 90 local declarations and then compared them to that of the Second Continental Congress. Popular support for the Declaration of Independence was built on how much was known and how widely the newspapers circulated. Massachusetts did not control Virginia, there was a confluence of ideas, assumptions, and similar responses to similar events
Here is the link to the entry.