Seymour Drescher

Project Background

Professor George L. Mosse (1918-1999), was one of the most influential historians of his generation, His wrote books on modern European history covering a wide swath, from Rome in the sixteenth century to gender history in the twentieth century. He came to teach history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1955, after completing his PhD at Harvard in 1946 and teaching at the University of Iowa. The George L. Mosse.Program in History, has initiated an oral history project to document the impact of George Mosse as a teacher and mentor. Here, Professor Seymour Drescher, Distinguished Professor of History and Sociology of the University of Pittsburgh recounts his experiences as a Mosse graduate student in the late 1950s, and their long association, which lasted until Mosse's passing in 1999.

To the Viewer

These DVDs are edited, digital versions of the original oral history interview recorded in October 2010 between Seymour Drescher and Life History Services, LLC, on behalf of the Mosse Program n History. Oral history interviews contain first-person accounts of historical events, individual experiences and significant memories. In this spirit, let it be understood that these interviews do not attempt to recount “absolute truth.” Instead, they intend to relate the stories that hold meaning for the particular narrator. Interviews are not always chronological or complete with regards to specific data. Accuracy is always the goal, though there may be corrections, and certainly additions to any oral history.

Menu DVD 1 - Download DVD 1 - Seymour Drescher Interview (MP4 - 207 MB) - (transcript pdf)

  1. Introduction
  2. Drescher Family Roots, Early Interests & Influences, College Years
  3. 1955-Coming to Wisconsin, First Seminar with George, Masters Degree
  4. George as Lecturer, Mentor & Guide
  5. George's Work, A Fulbright in Paris, Meeting in Cambridge
  6. George's Dedication to Students, Harvard, On Charisma & Crowds
  7. The Mosse Festschrift, Geroge's UW Appointment, Views on Judaism
    & Israel

Menu DVD 2 - Download DVD 2 - Seymour Drescher Interview (MP4 - 213 MB) - (transcript pdf)

  1. Approach to History, Irrationality & Ideologies
  2. George's Influence, Memories of Madison, The History Department
  3. Broader Political Context, Joint Projects
  4. A Reading, George's Unique Career & Legacy, Empathy in Learning
  5. Mosse the Exotic, Money, Sexuality & Other Affairs
  6. "Confrontation: Paris 1968", Closing

For information on how to purchase a copy of this interview, please contact Life History Services at: or 888-871-5495.