Moore, Barrington Jr., Ph.D.

Moore, Barrington Jr., Ph.D.

Male 1913 - 2005  (92 years)

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  • Name Moore, Barrington 
    Suffix Jr., Ph.D. 
    Born 12 May 1913  Washington, District of Columbia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 16 Oct 2005  Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Person ID I54936  Sackett | Descendants of Thomas Sacket the Elder, Simon Sackett the Colonist
    Last Modified 10 Aug 2019 

    Father Moore, Barrington Sr.,   b. 25 Sep 1883,   d. 1966  (Age 82 years) 
    Mother Morris, Muriel Hennon,   b. 2 Apr 1889,   d. Unknown 
    Married 20 Dec 1910 
    Children 2 children 
     1. Moore, Barrington Jr., Ph.D.,   b. 12 May 1913, Washington, District of Columbia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Oct 2005, Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years)
    +2. Moore, Peter Van Cortlandt M.D.,   d. 27 Feb 2006
     
    Family ID F21020  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Ito, Betty Carol,   b. 4 Jun 1913, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Feb 1992  (Age 78 years) 
    Married 1944  [3
    Last Modified 10 Aug 2019 
    Family ID F21022  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 12 May 1913 - Washington, District of Columbia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 16 Oct 2005 - Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend Address Cemetery Street/Feature Village/Neighborhood/Community Township/Parish City County/Shire State/Province Country Region Not Set

  • Photos 2 Photos

  • Sources 
    1. [S1018] Obituary (Reliability: 3), 10 Aug 2019.
      Independent (London, England), 17 Nov 2005
      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/barrington-moore-515628.html

      Barrington Moore
      Author of a daring sociological classic

      Thursday 17 November 2005 01:00

      Barrington Moore, sociologist: born Washington, DC 12 May 1913; Lecturer, Social Science Division, University of Chicago 1945-47; Senior Research Fellow, Russian Research Center, Harvard University 1947-79; married Betty Ito (died 1992); died Cambridge, Massachusetts 16 October 2005.

      Barrington Moore was one of the greatest American sociologists of the 20th century. He did not found an intellectual school, although he had many successful students. Nor did he establish a paradigmatic concept or theory, although he was a prime exemplar of model scholarship. He did something much more difficult. He showed that detailed historical and comparative analysis of specific societies such as Britain, China and the United States could produce important testable generalisations about how societies change. These generalisations focus on the question that guided his work: which historical circumstances favour, and which inhibit, the making of modern societies that are decent and worth living in?

      Moore's most important book was Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, which appeared in 1966, when he was 53. It stands alongside Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (first published in 1904-05) and Emile Durkheim's Suicide (1897) as a sociological classic.

      In Social Origins, Moore showed that declining social interests and political structures play a crucial part in shaping the new socio-political orders that replace them. Historically, great landowners and rural peasantry throughout Europe and Asia have been threatened by the growth of large cities, and the rise of strong, centralising states. Moore looked at how these threatened classes responded in Britain, France, the US, China, Japan and India.

      He investigated the alliances landed aristocracy and gentry (including the samurai of Japan) made with rising interests such as urban business and central government. He looked at the social structures of the peasantry and whether it was gradually eliminated (as in England) or became a revolutionary force (as in France and China). Moore showed how different class-based responses to similar economic pressures produced very different political outcomes in different countries: democracy, Fascism or Communism.

      Social Origins was daring for its time. It kicked aside the preoccupation with the role of values as the basis of social order, associated with Talcott Parsons, and put at the centre of its analysis the part played by violence, exploitation and power within socio-political hierarchies. Moore insisted that brutal coercion had been just as important in establishing relatively decent Western liberal democracies as it had been in imposing Fascist and Communist regimes.

      Moore was not the first to say this in post-war America. C. Wright Mills, for one, had done so. But Moore made the key breakthrough, creating a cultural and political space for a new breed of historical sociologists including Charles Tilly, Theda Skocpol, Immanuel Wallerstein, Perry Anderson, Michael Mann and many others. Moore was able to make this breakthrough for two reasons. He had a much wider range as a historical sociologist than Mills. He was also, unlike Mills, unequivocally a man from the top of the American social establishment who not only strongly believed in liberal democracy but also thought capitalism was an important means of achieving it. This made him difficult to dismiss or ignore.

      Moore, a keen yachtsman like his father, had an élite education. Between the ages of 14 and 20, he attended St George's School, a private boarding school in Newport, Rhode Island. He then entered Williams College in Massachusetts, where Ivy League-trained teachers aimed to give their students, all organised socially into fraternities, a liberal education with a strong emphasis on the Greek and Latin classics. Moore majored in Latin, took eight courses in Attic Greek, and got a thorough grounding in classical and medieval history.

      He also took a political science course that introduced him to the work of W.G. Sumner and A.G. Keller. Moore credited these two very different scholars for his own abiding interest in problems relating to inequality, authority, ideological obscurantism, totalitarian regimes and the causes of human misery. This was interwoven with a lurking Hegelianism that made him search unceasingly for signs of emancipatory forces that might realise the human potentiality for creating rational and decent societies.

      After Williams, Moore did research on social stratification at Yale, completing his PhD in sociology in 1941. During the Second World War he served as a policy analyst for the American government, working in the Office of Strategic Studies, and at the Department of Justice. He taught at the University of Chicago for a while before moving to Harvard in 1948. He did not find a place in the Social Relations Department, where the Parsonian paradigm prevailed, but instead made his base at the Russian Research Center. He joined this institution in 1951 and remained there for the rest of his long working life. His main intellectual and life companion was his wife, Betty, whom he once described as "home editor and first reader of whatever I write".

      His earliest works, Soviet Politics (1950) and Terror and Progress, USSR (1954), are worth revisiting today in the post-1989 world for their analysis both of the internal tensions of the Soviet Union and the role of terror in political relations. By the time he wrote them, Moore had established his friendship with Herbert Marcuse who had been working at the State Department during the war, eventually serving as Acting Head of the East European Section, while Moore was at the OSS. Moore both respected and disagreed with Marcuse, who treated bourgeois capitalism and totalitarian societies as being fundamentally in the same camp.

      For Moore dictatorships and democracies were fundamentally different in origins and structure. He explored these differences throughout his career, engaging in a search that took him into anthropology, philosophy, history, and economics. It resulted in ground-clearing exercises such as his Political Power and Social Theory (1958) and ambitious works such as Injustice: the social bases of obedience and revolt (1978) and Reflections on the Causes of Human Misery (1971).

      For a brief while in the 1960s Moore pondered whether the upsurge of discontent among African Americans might presage a revolutionary moment in American history but decided not. He criticised some aspects of the student movement in Harvard as an attack on free speech in universities but remained on good terms with those who recognised the integrity and consistency of his position.

      Moore continued working after Injustice, producing books such as Privacy (1984), Authority and Inequality under Capitalism and Socialism (1987), Moral Aspects of Economic Growth (1998) and Moral Purity and Persecution in History (2000), the last two published in his late eighties. In all his work, Moore showed that objectivity does not mean neutrality on the profound moral and political issues of the time.

      Barrington Moore had a gentle, courtly manner, interlaced with flashes of humour, typically dry and ironic. He was, for some tastes, a little too respectful of the English liberal myth, neglecting to notice the harshness of British imperialism. When he came to Oxford to deliver the Tanner Lectures on Human Values in 1985, he was not at his best, perhaps even a little overawed by Brasenose College.

      However, back home in Harvard, dining out in the relaxing cosiness of the Faculty Club, he could be a friendly and stimulating host, reminiscing about Winston Churchill's wartime visit, discussing the historical significance of "masterless men", ruefully regretting the treatment of Japanese-Americans during the 1940s, and thoroughly enjoying a "steak mignon" served by one of Harvard's students moonlighting as a waitress.

      Dennis Smith

      Researched by Ted Smith

    2. [S1018] Obituary (Reliability: 3), 10 Aug 2019.
      The Harvard Crimson (Harvard University)
      https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2005/10/28/in-memoriam-barrington-moore-jr-former/


      IN MEMORIAM: Barrington Moore, Jr.
      By Benjamin L. Weintraub, Contributing Writer
      October 28, 2005



      By Benjamin L. Weintraub, Contributing Writer
      October 28, 2005
      1

      Former Harvard lecturer in sociology Barrington Moore, Jr., whose study of power structures?and particularly totalitarianism?helped shape the field for decades to follow, died on Sunday, Oct. 16, at his home in Cambridge. He was 92.

      Moore, who was born and raised in Newport, R.I., first started working at Harvard?s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies?informally known as the Russian Research Center?in 1948.

      He officially joined the Harvard faculty in 1951 and taught until 1979. Moore published his most influential work, ?Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World? in 1966.

      Moore?s earliest scholarship was in the field of Russian politics and power. It was after publishing his 1950 work, ?Soviet Politics: The Dilemma of Power? that Moore joined the Russian Research Center.

      Even in his earliest days at the Center, Moore was ?a kind of synthesizer, a big picture person,? according to Center Director and Feldberg Professor of Government and Russian Studies Timothy J. Colton ?74.

      After 1950, Moore began moving on to other, broader fields of interest.

      ?While he remained interested in Russia, by 1960, he was already working a wider front,? according to Colton. ?His interests took him to more general questions of society and systems of power.?

      These interests led to Moore?s landmark 1966 work which, according to Theda Skocpol, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and a former student of Moore?s, ?helped to define a whole field of comparative historical study.?

      While Moore remained at Harvard through 1979, he usually taught only one or two classes a year and never received tenure.

      One possible reason for this was Moore?s desire to retain his scholarly independence, according to Visiting Professor Andrew G. Walder, a friend who sailed with Moore almost every day.


      By Benjamin L. Weintraub, Contributing Writer
      October 28, 2005
      1

      Former Harvard lecturer in sociology Barrington Moore, Jr., whose study of power structures?and particularly totalitarianism?helped shape the field for decades to follow, died on Sunday, Oct. 16, at his home in Cambridge. He was 92.

      Moore, who was born and raised in Newport, R.I., first started working at Harvard?s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies?informally known as the Russian Research Center?in 1948.

      He officially joined the Harvard faculty in 1951 and taught until 1979. Moore published his most influential work, ?Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World? in 1966.

      Moore?s earliest scholarship was in the field of Russian politics and power. It was after publishing his 1950 work, ?Soviet Politics: The Dilemma of Power? that Moore joined the Russian Research Center.

      Even in his earliest days at the Center, Moore was ?a kind of synthesizer, a big picture person,? according to Center Director and Feldberg Professor of Government and Russian Studies Timothy J. Colton ?74.

      After 1950, Moore began moving on to other, broader fields of interest.

      ?While he remained interested in Russia, by 1960, he was already working a wider front,? according to Colton. ?His interests took him to more general questions of society and systems of power.?

      These interests led to Moore?s landmark 1966 work which, according to Theda Skocpol, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and a former student of Moore?s, ?helped to define a whole field of comparative historical study.?

      While Moore remained at Harvard through 1979, he usually taught only one or two classes a year and never received tenure.

      One possible reason for this was Moore?s desire to retain his scholarly independence, according to Visiting Professor Andrew G. Walder, a friend who sailed with Moore almost every day.

      ?He didn?t want to be tied down to all the different duties professors had,? said Walder. ?He wanted the freedom to teach what he wanted and write what he wanted. He didn?t want to play the game of University politics.?

      He added that Moore, who was independently wealthy and lived largely off his grandfather?s trust fund, did not need the financial incentives tied with tenure.

      Another theory as to why Moore never became tenured, according to Walder, was because of his fundamental disagreements with Talcott Parsons, the monumental Harvard sociologist who taught at the University from 1927 to 1973. Moore ?just did not see eye to eye with Parsons on intellectual matters. I don?t think they got along very well,? Walder said.

      Moore was reclusive, sharp, and demanding in the classroom. According to Skocpol, students had to write a five-page essay to gain admission to his graduate school class. She described him as a ?very old-fashioned, rigorous professor, but very inspiring.?

      Skocpol recalled that Moore conducted class in a ?Socratic-totalitarian? manner, cold-calling students and moving on abruptly if he deemed their answers less than satisfactory.

      Moore was an avid sailor and, according to Walder, would spend around six months per year living alone on his sailboat, which was docked in Maine.

      Moore was also known to invite his favorite few students to his house to dine with him and his wife, Betty, a few times a year.

      ?He could be very warm and engaging on those occasions when he invited you to his house,? Skocpol said. ?Usually at nine o?clock sharp, he would stand up and say ?It?s bedtime,? and the night was over.?

      ?We both feared and admired him and loved him,? Skocpol added.

      Moore is survived by a brother, Peter Van C. Moore, of Bethesda, MD.

      Researched by Ted Smith

    3. [S1018] Obituary (Reliability: 3), 10 Aug 2019.
      The Harvard Gazette (Harvard University)
      https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/05/barrington-moore-jr/

      Barrington Moore Jr.

      On October 16, 2005, the scholarly world lost an extraordinary intellect and teacher, when Barrington Moore, Jr. died from complications of pneumonia at his home on Larchwood Drive in Cambridge, Massachusetts, surrounded by thousands of treasured books and copies of manuscripts completed and in progress. During his 92 years, Moore witnessed the upheavals of the twentieth century and devoted himself to a life of rigorous scholarship. Without big money grants or a vast research team, he crafted influential books and shaped the sensibilities of younger scholars who have gone on to set agendas in political science, sociology, and history.

      Faculty of Arts and Sciences ? Memorial Minute

      n October 16, 2005, the scholarly world lost an extraordinary intellect and teacher, when Barrington Moore, Jr. died from complications of pneumonia at his home on Larchwood Drive in Cambridge, Massachusetts, surrounded by thousands of treasured books and copies of manuscripts completed and in progress. During his 92 years, Moore witnessed the upheavals of the twentieth century and devoted himself to a life of rigorous scholarship. Without big money grants or a vast research team, he crafted influential books and shaped the sensibilities of younger scholars who have gone on to set agendas in political science, sociology, and history.

      A scion of privilege, Barrington Moore, Jr., was left mostly to his nurses when his parents separated and then divorced. Raised from age nine by his maternal grandparents in Newport, Rhode Island, Barry?s warmest tie was to his grandfather, Lewis Cass Ledyard, an accomplished corporate lawyer who also served as private attorney to J. P. Morgan. The youthful Barry loved mountain climbing during European summers, but found "disagreeable" his six-year stint at St. George?s boarding school, where he was bullied by wealthy classmates. Much of Moore?s lifelong ambivalence about authority and privilege came from his emotionally complex upbringing.

      After boarding school, Moore earned his B.A. in Classics at Williams College, and then studied for his Ph.D. in Sociology at Yale, where he worked under the tutelage of Albert Galloway Keller (who had himself been a disciple of William Graham Sumner). Moore mastered multiple languages, including Greek, Latin, and Russian.

      World War II intervened after graduate school. Side by side with Herbert Marcuse, H. Stuart Hughes, Franz Neumann, and others who became lifelong friends, Moore served as a civilian analyst in the U.S. Office of Strategic Services. During this time, he met a Japanese-American woman, Elizabeth Ito, whom he married in 1944, much to the consternation of his upper-class family. Barry and Betty became lifelong partners.

      Following two years in the interdisciplinary Social Science Division at the University of Chicago, Moore joined Harvard?s Russian Research Center in 1948. He could have progressed to a tenured professorship, but, having no patience for departmental routines, became a Senior Lecturer in 1951, as which he taught and did research until his retirement in 1979.

      Major books marked Moore?s scholarly evolution, starting with works published in the early 1950s on the politics of the Soviet Union and moving toward capacious explorations of the ways in which societies from ancient to modern times handle enduring dilemmas?as in Reflections on the Causes of Human Misery and Upon Certain Proposals to Eliminate Them (1972) and Injustice: The Social Bases of Obedience and Revolt (1978). His final published collection was Moral Purity and Persecution in History (2000).

      In the middle of his career came Moore?s masterwork, Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World. Published in 1966, a time when much of the rest of U.S. social science engaged in grand theorizing or specialized quantitative research, Social Origins compared six countries over hundreds of years, probing the ways in which landed upper classes, peasants, and monarchs set the stage for revolutions from above and below that pushed nations toward fascism, communism, or liberal democracy. No path toward modernity, Moore concluded, was smooth or lacking in oppression and sacrifice; yet some paths were morally superior in his telling.

      In the New York Times, J. H. Plumb called Social Origins "a profoundly important book" and observed that "throughout . . . there is a constant play of mind that is scholarly, original and imbued with the rarest gift of all, a deep sense of reality." This book made Moore?along with Berkeley's Reinhard Bendix and Harvard?s Seymour Martin Lipset and Samuel P. Huntington?a leader in comparative historical sociology and comparative politics.

      All of Moore's writings reflected his sardonic sensibility?attuned to life's ironies and cruelties as well as its pleasures and triumphs. Each study was meticulously crafted, often written in a logical conversational style that posed an important question and weighed considerations and evidence before reaching a conclusion. Drafts were handwritten from personally assembled research notes. When a full draft was done, it was turned over to Betty Moore, who subjected it to thorough editing and double-checking. Major works took years to produce, but Moore was not in a rush.

      Life in the Moore household was equally structured. Except for occasional interludes of mountain climbing, skiing, and sailing, Barry devoted himself to research and writing. Many summers were spent on a yacht moored off the coast of Maine, where a morning dip in icy waters was a prelude to writing, using books and notes assembled during the academic year. Then came a late lunch and a chance to sail. It was a kind of intellectual monasticism, punctuated by scheduled interludes of pleasurable physical activity.

      From time to time, the Moores entertained friends or fortunate students. After a dinner prepared by Betty, intellectual conversation with longtime friends could stretch for hours; but when the guests were students, Dr. Moore rose abruptly at 9:00 p.m. to announce "Children, it is now bedtime." In his final years after Betty?s death from a long illness in 1992, Barry took pleasure from visitors to his home and, for as long as he could, from jaunts to teach younger colleagues to ski or sail.

      Teaching at Harvard was Moore's other life calling. He and Betty had no children, but their intellectual progeny were multitudinous. Moore was a devoted co-founder and early tutor in the Social Studies program. His graduate seminars taught comparative politics by asking students to draw evidence from many historical studies to describe what happened in a major transformation; test hypotheses about why it happened; and then tell the reader so what??why it matters. Mere academic quibbling was shunned, and discussions were sometimes conducted by what Moore jokingly called the "Socratic totalitarian method," in which he went around the room until he found a student who gave an adequate answer. So stressful could his courses be that students were known to gather for a glass of wine before venturing to class.

      During the turbulent 1960s, Moore had a deserved reputation as a critically minded intellectual, but was deeply offended when protests against the Vietnam War threatened sacred university routines. He memorably spoke against disruptions at a contentious Harvard faculty meeting in 1969, and held classes as usual during student strikes.

      Never a professional impresario, Moore did little to further student careers beyond writing recommendations. Still, his instruction and example had a profound impact.

      There is no orthodox "Moore School" in contemporary social science; the very idea is an oxymoron. But there is a distinctive Moore approach, featuring a commitment to tackling important questions, an aversion to theories that ignore historical contexts, and a commitment to interdisciplinary research comparing nations and civilizations.

      Barry outlived Betty by more than a decade. At the time of his death in 2005, he was survived by his brother, Dr. Peter Van C. Moore of Bethesda, Maryland, who has since died. Moore?s two nieces are Laura Thomas of Asheville, North Carolina and Helen Miles of Washington, D.C. In the fullest sense, Barrington Moore, Jr., lives on through the scholarship of his students and appreciative readers, and in the work of those they in turn inspire. Moore?s bold and rigorous approach reverberates through the generations?in the scholarly world without end.

      Respectfully submitted,

      Arthur Kleinman
      Orlando Patterson
      Henry Rosovsky
      Judith Vichniac
      Theda Skocpol, Chair

      Researched by Ted Smith


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