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U. history professor is honored

Published May 3, 2008 1:35 am

'An outstanding and prolific scholar'
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Robert Goldberg, a 28-year member of the University of Utah's history faculty and one of the school's most popular professors, has been named the winner of the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence, the U.'s most prestigious honor.

The author of nine books on history, Goldberg directs the Tanner Humanities Center and has already garnered plenty of teaching accolades, including being a three-time winner of the U.'s students choice award.

U. President Michael Young announced Goldberg as the winner at Friday's commencement exercises.

"An outstanding and prolific scholar of American history and an innovative leader, [Goldberg] has also enhanced the visibility of the Tanner Humanities Center in the community and among scholars nationally," he said.

The $40,000 award is given annually in recognition of service to the university, their fields and students.

Joseph and Evelyn Rosenblatt established the endowment that supports the prize in 1983 to honor the civic leadership and memory of Joseph's parents, Nathan and Tillie Rosenblatt, who immigrated from Russia to Utah in the late 19th century.

"This honor humbles me," Goldberg said. "I accept it on behalf of my students and colleagues in the department of history and my co-workers in the Tanner Humanities Center. Without them, this would not have been possible."

His scholarly interests began with social history, but he has branched into the history of American politics and popular culture.

His 2001 book, for example, Enemies Within: The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America analyzes the saturation of popular culture and cyberspace with conspiracy theories and in 1995 he published a biography of Arizona's Barry Goldwater.

"Bob has proven himself to be one of the most creative and productive scholars of modern American history working today," said Eric Hinderaker, chairman of the department of history.

"His skill, effectiveness and popularity as a teacher . . . are legendary."