Thomas Skidmore
Thomas Elliot Skidmore is a noted historian and scholar specialized in Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

ian history.


Skidmore graduated in political science and philosophy in 1954 from Denison University
Denison University
Denison University is private, coeducational, and residential college of liberal arts and sciences founded in 1831. It is located in Granville, Ohio, United States, approximately 30 miles east of Columbus, the state capital...

. He received a Fulbright Fellowship
Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program, including the Fulbright-Hays Program, is a program of competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists, founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946. Under the...

 to study philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 at Oxford University
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 where he met his wife Felicity. He received a second B.A.
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...

 in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1956 and a master's degree
Master's degree
A master's is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice...

 in 1959. He obtained his Ph.D.
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

 at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in 1960 with a thesis on the German Chancellor Leo von Caprivi
Leo von Caprivi
Georg Leo Graf von Caprivi de Caprera de Montecuccoli was a German major general and statesman, who succeeded Otto von Bismarck as Chancellor of Germany...


His attention shifted to South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 after the Cuban Revolution
Cuban Revolution
The Cuban Revolution was an armed revolt by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement against the regime of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista between 1953 and 1959. Batista was finally ousted on 1 January 1959, and was replaced by a revolutionary government led by Castro...

. His Harvard post-doctorate focused on Brazil. In 1967 he published Politics in Brazil: 1930-64, An Experiment in Democracy.

In 1966, Skidmore joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...

. He became a full professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 in 1968. In 1986, Skidmore moved to Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...


Selected bibliography

  • Politics in Brazil 1930–1964: An Experiment in Democracy (Oxford University Press, 1967)
  • Black Into White: Race and Nationality in Brazilian Thought (Oxford University Press, 1974)
  • Modern Latin America, with Peter H. Smith (Oxford University Press, multiple editions, 1984–2005)
  • The Politics of Military Rule in Brazil: 1964-1985 (1988)
  • Television, Politics, and the Transition to Democracy in Latin America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993, ed.)
  • “Bi-Racial U.S.A. vs Multi-Racial Brazil: Is the Contrast Still Valid?,” Journal of Latin American Studies 25, no. 2 (1993): 373-385
  • Brazil: Five Centuries of Change (Oxford University Press, 1999)
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