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Robert A. Rosenstone

Professor of History, Emeritus
Contact information for Robert A. Rosenstone
Contact Method Value
Phone: 626-395-4220
B.A., University of California (Los Angeles), 1957; Ph.D., 1965. Visiting Assistant Professor, Caltech, 1966-68; Assistant Professor, 1968-69; Associate Professor, 1969-75; Professor, 1975-2012; Professor Emeritus, 2012-. Executive Officer for the Humanities, 1983-86.

Research Interests

History in the Visual Media, Biography, Forms of Narrative, the Modern Age


My current interests run along two parallel lines, continuing the investigation of issues that have concerned me for the last three decades. One involves the intensely contemporary issue: what it means to construct works of history in a culture where the visual and the electronic media are not only supplementing but to some extent replacing the written word as the chief means of communication. The other line has to do with creating alternative ways of presenting history (on the page, on the screen, on the internet), which of necessity involves questions of the relationship between historical data and argument, as well as that between fact and fiction.

Selected Publications


  • Crusade of the Left: The Lincoln Battalion and the Spanish Civil War - 1969
  • Romantic Revolutionary: A Biography of John Reed - 1975
  • Mirror in the Shrine: American Encounters in Meiji Japan - 1988
  • Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of History - 1995
  • King of Odessa - 2003
  • The Man Who Swam Into History - 2005
  • History on Film / Film on History – 2006 (2nd ed. 2010, 3rd ed, 2018)
  • Red Star, Crescent Moon: A Muslim – Jewish Love Story - 2010
  • Cine y visualidad: Historizacion de la imagen contemporaneo - 2013
  • Adventures of a Postmodern Historian: Living and Writing the Past - 2016


  • Protest from the Right - 1968
  • Seasons of Rebellion: Protest and Radicalism in Recent America - 1972
  • Los cantos de la conmocion: Veinte años de rock - 1974
  • Revisioning History: Filmmakers and the Construction of the Past - 1995
  • Experiments in Rethinking History – 2004
  • A Blackwell Companion to Historical Film. - 2013