Maarten van Rossem: Dutch historian (1943-) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Maarten van Rossem
Dutch historian

Maarten van Rossem

Maarten van Rossem
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Dutch historian
Is Historian Writer Television presenter Educator
From Netherlands
Field Academia Film, TV, Stage & Radio Literature Social science
Gender male
Birth 24 October 1943, Zeist
Age 79 years
The details (from wikipedia)


Maarten van Rossem (born 24 October 1943) is a Dutch historian. He specializes in the history and politics of the United States. As an expert on America, he is a frequent guest on television political talk shows. His public career started when he was asked to comment on the 1984 vice presidential elections. He still makes regular TV appearances and gives frequent public lectures.


Born in 1943 in Zeist, Van Rossem grew up in Wageningen (Netherlands). In his youth he became fascinated with the United States through a visit from his three American cousins. When they came to visit his parents, they each had their own photo camera with them. This led him to think all Americans were rich.

He attended the grammar school in Wageningen, graduating in the exact sciences. Initially he studied pharmacy at Utrecht University, because of his high marks for chemistry. Because he disliked the subject, he secretly switched to studying history. His family opposed this decision, stating that this would only lead to unemployment.

As a student in the 1960s, he was expected to be leftist and radical, but Maarten chose not to go in that direction. He thought it would be very unlikely that there would be a revolutionary revolt against capitalism. Despite being brought up in a liberal environment, he joined the Labour Party in 1967.

He continued to be intrigued by the United States, collecting newspaper clippings on Martin Luther King, president Kennedy and the Chicago riots.

After eight years he graduated Cum laude. He wrote his senior thesis about the historiography of the Cold War with Hermann von der Dunk as his thesis advisor. Through his thesis he discovered the joy of writing: "You can say that at that point I became a historian".

His PhD thesis on the Partisan Review was also counseled by Von der Dunk, who allowed him to change the subject twice. It took him 12 years to finish it.

Only a year later, in 1984, he published his best-known book The United States in the 20th century (Dutch title: De Verenigde Staten in de Twintigste Eeuw). This got him an invitation to speak on television about the presidential elections. Since then he is often asked to speak at events, even though he is often criticized for being too cynical.

In 1996 he was appointed professor occupying the endowed chair of modern history at the Utrecht University. This appointment allowed him to speak on a wider range of subjects. He was forced to retire from this position in 2008 because he reached retirement age. He thought this was ridiculous: "Yesterday I had a normal working day; today my activities are seen as no more than occupational therapy for the elderly, focused on stimulating the brain, in order to prevent its precipitate decline after receiving the first state pension cheque", he said on his first day of retirement. He continues to give public lectures all around the country.

The first issue of his own magazine, the Maarten!, was published in the summer of 2008. Initially a one time addition to the Historic Newspaper (Dutch: Historisch Nieuwsblad), the glossy magazine has since grown into its own, circulating on a bimonthly basis. Even though the format parodies personality magazines like Oprah Magazine, its content is serious, running editorials on current events and putting them against a historic background.

In the summer of 2012 he toured the US in preparation of a documentary series on the 2012 presidential elections. During the 2012 Dutch general elections he was a "lijstduwer" for the Labour Party, which earned them 5.929 votes, ranking him the 16th most popular candidate.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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