Brison D. Gooch
Brison Dowling Gooch is a professor emeritus of 19th-century European history at Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University is a coeducational public research university located in College Station, Texas . It is the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. The sixth-largest university in the United States, A&M's enrollment for Fall 2011 was over 50,000 for the first time in school...

 in College Station, Texas
College Station, Texas
College Station is a city in Brazos County, Texas, situated in East Central Texas in the heart of the Brazos Valley. The city is located within the most populated region of Texas, near three of the 10 largest cities in the United States - Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio...

. He is an authority on the Revolutions of 1848
Revolutions of 1848
The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations, Springtime of the Peoples or the Year of Revolution, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It was the first Europe-wide collapse of traditional authority, but within a year reactionary...

, Napoleon III, Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, and the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...


Gooch received his Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 degree from Miami University
Miami University
Miami University is a coeducational public research university located in Oxford, Ohio, United States. Founded in 1809, it is the 10th oldest public university in the United States and the second oldest university in Ohio, founded four years after Ohio University. In its 2012 edition, U.S...

 in Oxford, Ohio
Oxford, Ohio
Oxford is a city in northwestern Butler County, Ohio, United States, in the southwestern portion of the state. It lies in Oxford Township, originally called the College Township. The population was 21,943 at the 2000 census. This college town was founded as a home for Miami University. Oxford...

. Prior to his tenure at TAMU, which included a term as the history chairperson and extended from 1973–1991, Gooch was a history professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

, the University of Oklahoma at Norman, and the University of Connecticut at Storrs. In an academic career that spanned some four decades, Gooch also taught during summer sessions at Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and his alma mater
Alma mater
Alma mater , pronounced ), was used in ancient Rome as a title for various mother goddesses, especially Ceres or Cybele, and in Christianity for the Virgin Mary.-General term:...

, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he received both his Master of Arts
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 and Ph.D.
A Ph.D. is a Doctor of Philosophy, an academic degree.Ph.D. may also refer to:* Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*Piled Higher and Deeper, a web comic strip*PhD: Phantasy Degree, a Korean comic series* PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

Gooch's second wife, Shirley Jean Ferrell Black Gooch (April 2, 1935 – September 3, 1996), known professionally as Shirley J. Black, was also a TAMU professor of European history and highly active in the profession.


Gooch was born in Bar Harbor
Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor is a town on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County, Maine, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population is 5,235. Bar Harbor is a famous summer colony in the Down East region of Maine. It is home to the College of the Atlantic, Jackson Laboratory and Mount Desert Island...

, Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

. He listed an address in Hancock County
Hancock County, Maine
Hancock County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maine. As of 2010, the population was 54,418. Its county seat is Ellsworth. It was incorporated on June 25, 1789...

 in southern Maine, when on December 26, 1945, he enlisted in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 at the end of World War II. He served in Belgium and Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. While in Germany, he attended the Nuremberg trials
Nuremberg Trials
The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany....

 and heard discussions of German army atrocities in Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. His military experience influenced his later course of study in history.

Books by Gooch

  • Belgium and the February Revolution, 1963
  • Napoleon III – Man of Destiny: Enlightened Statesman for Proto-Fascist?, editor, 1966
  • The Reign of Napoleon III, Rand McNally European History series, 1969
  • Interpreting Western Civilization, 1969
  • Europe in the Nineteenth Century: A History, 1970
  • "The World of Europe Since 1815, published 1973
  • Interpreting European History, Vol. I: From the Renaissance to Napoleon
  • Interpreting European History, Vol. II: From Metternich to the Present
  • Problems in European Civilization – The Origins of the Crimean War

Gooch is a contributor to the Encyclopedia of the 1848 Revolutions, which examines a series of failed European revolts. In 1978, Gooch wrote a short article, "An 1853 Formula for an Ottoman Victory", in Austrian History Yearbook, Vol 14. The selection shows how Great Britain and France virtually ignored their ally, Turkey, which their enemy, Czar Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I , was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855, known as one of the most reactionary of the Russian monarchs. On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its historical zenith spanning over 20 million square kilometers...

, had popularly derided as the "sick man of Europe." The Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 was dismantled some seventy years later at the end of World War I.

With Shirley Black, Gooch co-authored Louis Napoleon and Strasbourg.

Professional organizations

Gooch was active in various professional organizations, including the American Historical Association
American Historical Association
The American Historical Association is the oldest and largest society of historians and professors of history in the United States. Founded in 1884, the association promotes historical studies, the teaching of history, and the preservation of and access to historical materials...

, and he attended many meetings and conventions during his career and also in retirement. In December 1969, he was named to the nominating committee at the AHA annual meeting]. From 1979–1980, Gooch was elected by his colleagues as the president of the Southwestern Historical Association. In 1982, Gooch was named president of the Western Society for French History
Western Society for French History
The Western Society for French History is, along with the Society for French Historical Studies, one of the two primary historical societies devoted to the study of French history headquartered in the United States....

, founded in 1974. Shirley Black headed the same group in 1990.


Brison Gooch retired in 1991 and relocated to Silverton, Colorado
Silverton, Colorado
The town of Silverton is a Statutory Town that is the county seat of, and the only incorporated municipality in, San Juan County, Colorado, United States. Silverton is a former silver mining camp, most or all of which is now included in a federally designated National Historic Landmark District,...

, a scenic mountain resort and former mining community in San Juan County
San Juan County, Colorado
San Juan County is the least populous of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado in the United States. The county name is the Spanish language name for “Saint John”, the name Spanish explorers gave to a river and the mountain range in the area. The county population was 558 at U.S. Census 2000...

 in southwestern Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

. After Shirley's death, Gooch married the former Freda Carley Peterson, a local historian, lecturer, and archivist for the San Juan County Historical Society in Silverton.

In 2007, Gooch donated his personal library to Tabor College
Tabor College
Tabor College may refer to:* Tabor College , a defunct institution formerly located in Iowa* Tabor College , a four-year Christian liberal arts institution in Kansas...

, a small liberal arts college in Hillsboro, Kansas
Hillsboro, Kansas
Hillsboro is a city in Marion County, Kansas, United States. Hillsboro was named after John Gillespie Hill, who homesteaded in the area in 1871. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,993. Hillsboro is home of Tabor College, which has approximately 550 students.-19th century:For...


In 2009, Brison and Freda Gooch were named "Citizens of the Year" by the Silverton Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of commerce
A chamber of commerce is a form of business network, e.g., a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community...


Gooch served as a member of the Silverton Town Council and as mayor pro tempore until his resignation in December 2009. Gooch is also a former member of the Silverton School Board.

Gooch is a supporter of the Mountain Studies Institute, an independent 501(c)3 organization based in Silverton, with an additional office at Fort Lewis College
Fort Lewis College
Fort Lewis College is a public liberal arts college in Durango, Colorado.-History:Military FortThe original site of Fort Lewis College began southwest of its present location back in 1880. Set up originally as a Military Fort for the 22nd Regimental Infantry which occupied the land from...

 near Durango
Durango, Colorado
The City of Durango is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of La Plata County, Colorado, United States. The United States Census Bureau said that the city population was 16,887 in 2010 census.-History:...

, Colorado. MSI focuses upon the San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains
The San Juan Mountains are a high and rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The area is highly mineralized and figured in the gold and silver mining industry of early Colorado. Major towns, all old mining camps, include Creede, Lake City, Silverton, Ouray, and...

and studies the unique features of mountain ecosystems, people, and their interactions.
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