Marilyn B. Young (April 25, 1937 – February 19, 2017) was a historian of American foreign relations and professor of history at
New York University New York University (NYU) is a private research university in New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With an estima ...
. She graduated from Samuel J. Tilden High School in Brooklyn in 1953 and
Vassar College Vassar College ( ) is a private liberal arts college in Poughkeepsie, New York. Founded in 1861 by Matthew Vassar, it was the second degree-granting institution of higher education for women in the United States, closely following Elmira Co ...
in 1957. Her doctoral work at Harvard University was supported by an anonymous full scholarship to learn Chinese and to pursue research in the field of United States relations with East Asia. She did her doctoral work under the direction of Ernest R. May, a scholar of American foreign relations, and , an historian of China. Her doctoral dissertation became her first book, ''The Rhetoric of Empire: American China Policy, 1895–1901'', which examined the American Open Door Notes and the international diplomacy of the Boxer Uprising. She taught at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, before moving to NYU in 1980.Faculty Profile New York University Department of History
/ref> In 2000–01 she was awarded a List of Guggenheim Fellowships awarded in 2000, Guggenheim Fellowship and an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, and the Berkshire Women's History Prize for ''The Vietnam Wars, 1945–1990''. She was elected President of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations in 2011.

Scholarly and political career

In the late 1960s, as part of her opposition to the Vietnam War, American war in Vietnam, she was a founding member of the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars. Many of her subsequent writings concerned this and following American wars. She recalled in her presidential address to the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations: Of the Iraq War, she wrote: "If Vietnam was Korea in slow motion, then Operation Iraqi Freedom is Vietnam on crack cocaine. In less than two weeks a 30-year-old vocabulary is back: credibility gap, seek and destroy, hard to tell friend from foe, civilian interference in military affairs, the dominance of domestic politics, winning, or more often, losing hearts and minds."quoted a
Bill Moyers Journal (PBS) May 11, 2007
from Historians Reflect on the War in Iraq: A Roundtable (Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting, Memphis Tennessee, 2003).
Young became a member of the faculty at NYU in 1980. She was the founder of its Women Studies Department, and from 1993 to 1996 she was the chairwoman of its history department. Young was a co-director of the Tamiment Library's Center for the United States and the Cold War. She became president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations in 2011. While in graduate school she met and married Ernest P. Young, an historian of China described by a friend as her "early intellectual companion." They separated and then divorced in 1986.

Selected publications

For a fuller list, see Rebecca Karl, "In Memoriam."


The Vietnam Wars, 1945–1990
'. (Harper Collins 1991), . * with William G. Rosenberg,
Transforming Russia and China: Revolutionary Struggle in the Twentieth Century
' (Oxford University Press, 1982), . * ''Women in China: Studies in Social Change and Feminism''. (Center for Chinese Studies, 1973), . * ''The Rhetoric of Empire: America China Policy, 1895–1901.'' (Harvard University Press, 1968), .

Edited Books

* with Yuki Tanaka (historian), Y. Tanaka, ''Bombing Civilians: a 20th century history'', (The New Press, 2009). * with Mark Bradley (historian), Mark Bradley, ''Making Sense of the Vietnam War'', (Oxford University Press, 2008). * with Lloyd Gardner, ''Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam'', The New Press, 2007. * with Lloyd Gardner, ''The New American Empire'', The New Press, 2005. * with Tom Grunfeld and John Fitzgerald, ''The Vietnam War: A History in Documents'', OUP, 2003. * with Robert Buzzanco, ''Companion to the Vietnam War'', Blackwell, 2002. * edited with Lynn Hunt and Jeffrey Wasserstrom, ''Human Rights and Revolutions'', (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), **2nd edition (2007) with same editors and Greg Grandin, * Editorial Committee, ''Reporting Vietnam:American Journalism, 1959–1975'', two volumes, Library of America, 1998. * with Marvin Gettleman, Jane Franklin (author), Jane Franklin and Bruce Franklin, ''Vietnam and America'', Grove Press, 1985; rev. edition Anchor Books, 1995. * with Rayna Rapp and Sonia Kruks, ''Promissory Notes: Women and the Transition to Socialism'', Monthly Review Press, 1983. * ''American Expansionism: the Critical Issues, Little Brown'', 1973, edited collection


* "The Korean War: Ambivalence on the Silver Screen," in ''The Korean War at Fifty: International Perspectives'', edited by Mark F. Wilkinson (John Adams Center for Military History and Strategic Analysis, 2004). * "In the Combat Zone," reprinted in ''Hollywood and War: The Film Reader'', edited by J. David Slocum (NY/London; Routledge, 2006). * "Two, Three, Many Vietnams," ''Cold War Studies'', November 2006. * "The Vietnam Laugh Track," in David Ryan, ed. ''Iraq in Vietnam'' (London: Routledge, 2006) * "’Shared Victory,’ Korea, the U.S. and France," in ''The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis'', ed. Mark Atwood Lawrence and Fredrik Logevall. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006). * "The American Empire at War," in ''The Barbarization of Warfare'', edited by George Kassimeris (London: Routledge/NY: NYU Press, 2006). * "Counterinsurgency, Now and Forever," in Gardner and Young, ''Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam'' * "Why Vietnam Still Matters," in ''The War That Never Ends'', edited by John Ernst and David Anderson (University Press of Kentucky), 2007.


References and further reading

* * *

External links

Marilyn Blatt Young WorldCat Identity

Marilyn Young Papers
at Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University {{DEFAULTSORT:Young, Marilyn B. 1937 births 2017 deaths 20th-century American historians American women historians University of Michigan faculty New York University faculty Harvard University alumni Samuel J. Tilden High School alumni Vassar College alumni American anti-war activists 20th-century American women writers Historians from New York (state)