Gordon Wright Biography

Gordon Wright (April 24, 1912–January 11, 2000) was the preeminent historian of modern France in the United States. He taught at Stanford University for 20 years, where he held the William H. Bonsall Professorship of History. His most important writings include The Reshaping of French Democracy (1948) as well as his much admired Rural Revolution in France: The Peasantry in the Twentieth Century (1964). But surely his most read book was his text France in Modern Times (1st edition, 1960), which became the preeminent survey of French history since the Revolution.


The reshaping of French democracy. Introd. by Paul Birdsall. New York, Reynal & Hitchcock, 1948.

France in modern times: 1760 to the present. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1960; 5th ed. France in modern times: from the Enlightenment to the present. New York: W.W. Norton, 1995.

An age of controversy: discussion problems in twentieth century European history, by Gordon Wright and Arthur Mejia, Jr. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1963.

Rural revolution in France; the peasantry in the twentieth century. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1964.

France in the twentieth century, by Gordon Wright. Washington: Service Center for Teachers of History, 1965.

The ordeal of total war, 1939-1945. 1st ed. New York: Harper & Row, 1968.

An age of controversy; discussion problems in twentieth century European history. Edited by Gordon Wright and Arthur Mejia, Jr. Alternate ed. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1973.

Insiders and outliers: the individual in history, by Gordon Wright. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman, 1981.

Between the guillotine and liberty: two centuries of the crime problem in France, by Gordon Wright. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983.

The transformation of modern France: essays in honor of Gordon Wright, edited by William B. Cohen. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.