Samuel B. Hand

Hand headshot
Born in New York City and raised in Bayside and Woodstock, New York, Samuel B. Hand (1931-2012) received his BA from New York University in 1952, served in the US Army in Korea, and then entered the doctoral program in history at Syracuse University, receiving his PhD in 1960. Hand then taught briefly at Slippery Rock State College in Pennsylvania. From 1961 to 1994 he taught at the University of Vermont, where he achieved legendary status as a scholar and teacher, Chair of the History department and professor emeritus.

Hand originally focused on US political history, publishing the biography of FDR’s adviser and speechwriter Samuel I. Rosenman
Counsel and Advise: A Political Biography of Samuel I. Rosenman (1979) and articles on Rosenman and other New Deal figures. His interests shifted to Vermont history, a field in which he became the acknowledged expert, authoring, coauthoring, and editing numerous articles and essays and five books, including The Star that Set: The Vermont Republican Party, 1865–1974 (2003), and with Stephen C. Terry and Anthony Marro Philip Hoff: How Red Turned Blue in the Green Mountains (2011).

Hand helped found the Center for Research on Vermont, serving as its first director. Beloved by his numerous graduate students, Hand was honored by the University of Vermont with the Graduate Faculty Teaching Award in 1994, and the University Scholar Award in 1989. He was vice president and then president of the Vermont Historical Society (1983-1989); the New England Association of Oral History (1983-1985); and the national Oral History Society (1984-1987). He also received the Oral History Society’s Harvey A. Kantor Memorial Award for Significant Work in Oral History in 1986.

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