Lee Benson, author of The Concept of Jacksonian Democracy: New York as a Test Case (1961), has died.

While Jacksonian historians recognize Benson’s work as pioneering the use of social science research and quantitative methods to argue for an ethnocultural interpretation of the Jacksonian period, the UPenn professor was also deeply involved in civic engagement:

He was co-founder of the Netter Center’s university-assisted community school program that has, since its inception in 1985, been seen as a national model of university civic engagement. Dr. Benson continued to be fully engaged with the Netter Center, serving on its Faculty Advisory Board, writing and co-teaching with the Center’s director an undergraduate seminar on “Urban University-Community Relations” until his death. He was co-executive editor of the Netter Center’s Universities and Community Schools journal, co-author of Dewey’s Dream (2007), and was the author or co-author of dozens of articles and chapters on university civic engagement and the role of higher education in educating students for democratic citizenship.

(H/t Jon Atkins)

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