David Oshinsky

Professor of History, Medicine

Cornell University, BS 1965, MS 1967; Brandeis University, Ph. D, 1971

Office Address: 



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David Oshinsky is an American historian currently focusing on the history of medicine and public health. His previous books include A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy, a biography of the Red-hunting Wisconsin senator who sensationalized the issue of domestic subversion and espionage during the Cold War, and after whom the terms” “McCarthyism” and “McCarthy” are named; Worse Than Slavery, an account of race, violence, and punishment in the American South seen through the lens of Parchman Farm, the legendary prison in Mississippi; Polio: An American Story, a history of the disease that dominated scientific research and popular culture in the first half of the 20th Century, and Capital Punishment on Trial, a history of the death penalty in the United States. Oshinsky’s reviews and essays appear regularly in New York Times and other international publications. He is presently at work on a medical history of New York City seen through the lens of Bellevue, the nation’s oldest and most famous public hospital


Prizes and Awards: Pulitzer Prize in History; Cartwright Prize; Hoover Presidential Book Award; Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, Scribes Award (Excellence in Legal Writing); Hardeman Prize (Best Book about the U.S. Congress); New York Times Notable Books of the Year (twice); Dean’s Medal, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health; Warren Susman Award (Professor of the Year, Rutgers University); Liberal Arts Professor of the Year( University of Texas); Society of American Historians; Academy of Distinguished Teachers (University of Texas); Distinguished Lecturer, Organization of American Historians; Distinguished Visiting Scholar (Phi Beta Kappa).

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Updated on 04/10/2014