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ACLS News

Susan Ware Appointed General Editor of American National Biography

4/19/2012

Ware_Susan_lgACLS is pleased to announce that Susan Ware has been appointed the General Editor of the American National Biography (ANB), the premier biographical encyclopedia of U.S. history. She succeeds Mark Carnes, who has held that post since the ANB began.

Susan Ware is an accomplished historian, editor, and the author of seven books, including biographies of Billie Jean King, Amelia Earhart, Molly Dewson, and Mary Margaret McBride. She served as the editor of several documentary collections and of the most recent volume of Notable American Women, published in 2004, which contains biographies of 483 women from over 50 fields. Educated at Wellesley College and Harvard University, Dr. Ware taught at New York University and Harvard. She has long been associated with the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and is active in a variety of professional organizations.  She has extensive media experience in radio, television, and documentary film and is committed to bringing women's history and feminist scholarship to a wide popular audience.

Alice Kessler-Harris, professor of history, Columbia University and president of the Organization of American Historians wrote:  “Susan Ware is the best possible selection for the next general editor of the ANB. A distinguished historian and biographer, she served as general editor for the magnificent third revision of Notable American Women. She is judicious, even-handed, principled, and thoughtful. You could not have placed the ANB in better hands.”

Mark Carnes welcomed his successor, saying, “A superb choice! Susan Ware is an outstanding biographer, a proven editor, and a wonderful person. She will thrive in a job whose importance does not preclude it from being great fun.” In 1986, Carnes, now the Ann Olin Whitney Professor of History at Barnard College, and Professor John A. Garraty accepted then ACLS President Stanley Katz’s invitation to design and develop the American National Biography. “When Mark Carnes began his service 26 years ago, the ANB was only an idea,” commented ACLS Vice President Steve Wheatley. “Mark’s effort, expertise, and leadership were essential to turning the idea into a shelf of print books and then into an online resource bringing deep knowledge of broad scope to the general public in a form both authoritative and accessible. We appreciate that he now wants to apply his enormous energy to new projects, including the pedagogically innovative project, Reacting to the Past.” 

The landmark American National Biography offers portraits of more than 18,700 men and women—from all eras and walks of life—whose lives have shaped the nation. First published in 24 volumes in 1999, the ANB received instant acclaim as the new authority in American biographies, and continues to serve readers in thousands of school, public, and academic libraries around the world. Its online counterpart, ANB Online, is a regularly updated resource currently offering portraits of over 18,700 biographies, including the 17,435 of the print edition. ACLS sponsors the ANB, which is published by Oxford University Press.