Amherst in the World

Amherst College Bicentennial 1821 2021 In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Amherst College, a group of scholars and alumni explores the school’s substantial past in Amherst in the World. In this volume the story of how an institution that was founded to train Protestant ministers began educating new generations of industrialists, bankers, and political leaders with the decline in missionary ambitions after the Civil War. The contributors trace how what was a largely white school throughout the interwar years begins diversifying its student demographics after World War II and the War in Vietnam.

The histories told here illuminate how Amherst has contended with slavery, wars, religion, coeducation, science, curriculum, town and gown relations, governance, and funding during its two centuries of existence. Through Amherst’s engagement with educational improvement in light of these historical undulations, it continually affirms both the vitality and the utility of a liberal arts education.


A book titled Amherst in the World with a globe and mammoth skeleton on the front cover Amherst in the World

Edited by Martha Saxton

Amherst College Press, 2020
663 Pages
20 Contributors
Licensed under Creative Commons

About the Editor

Martha Saxton is an American professor of
history and women's and gender studies at
Amherst College who has authored several
prominent historical biographies.

Contributors & Works

Fulfilling the Founders’ Purpose: The Religious Careers of Early Amherst College Graduates by Gary J. Kornblith; Remembering Edward Jones: First Black Graduate, Missionary Hero, “Genteel Young Man of Excellent Disposition” by David W. Wills; Amherst and the Native World by Frederick E. Hoxie; Niijima Jō, the Dōshisha, and the Christian Liberal Arts in Meiji Japan by Trent Maxey; Exclusivity, Segregation, and Democracy: Amherst College and Its Fraternities by Nicholas L. Syrett; Jewish Experience at Amherst College by Wendy H. Bergoffen; Coeducation: The Unanticipated Revolution by Martha Saxton; Creating a Place for Latinidad at an Elite Liberal Arts College: Amherst College, the 1970s through Today by Rick López; Remembering Dunbar: Amherst College and African American Education in Washington, DC by Matthew Alexander Randolph; Feeding Amherst by Daniel Levinson Wilk; “The farthest West shakes hands with the remotest East”: Amherst College, China, and Collegiate Cosmopolitanism in the Nineteenth Century by K. Ian Shin; “Vesuvius at Home”: Emily Dickinson, Amherst, and Nineteenth-Century Popular Culture by David S. Reynolds; “Fables of Extinction”: Geologist Edward Hitchcock and the Literary Response to Darwin by Jane F. Thrailkill; Eclipses, Ecology, and Emily Dickinson: The Todds of Amherst by Julie Dobrow; The “Meiklejohn Affair” Revisited: Amherst and the World in the Early Twentieth Century by Richard F. Teichgraeber III; The Amherst Man in the Jazz Age by Debby Applegate; “We are and will be forever Anti-Slavery Men!”: Student Abolitionists and Subversive Politics at Amherst College, 1833–1841 by Michael E. Jirik; “Some of the Sweetest Christians”: The Wartime Education of Amherst’s Boys in Blue by Bruce Laurie; “Ain’t Gonna Pay for War No More”: Taxes, Resistance, and Antiwar Activism in the Pioneer Valley and Beyond by Molly Michelmore; “A Pervasive and Insistent Disquiet”: Amherst College in the 1960s by Christian G. Appy.

Read or download at ACP or buy from the Amherst College Press


Amherst College: The Campus Guide

Amherst College Bicentennial 1821 2021 In honor of its 2021 Bicentennial, Amherst College has commissioned three keepsake books. The first, available for purchase now, is Amherst College: The Campus Guide, by Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Blair Kamin ’79.

The beautifully photographed guide tells the stories of nearly 100 campus buildings, landscapes, sculpture and interiors. Organized as a series of six walks, it accompanies the reader on a richly engaging tour through time and space, history and culture. The last chapter covers three notable off-campus buildings: the Five College Library Depository, better known as The Bunker; Amherst House at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, built in 1932 to resemble an Amherst fraternity house; and the architecturally distinguished Folger Shakespeare Library, in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, that illuminates the life, work and times of the great playwright.

Throughout Amherst College: The Campus Guide, Blair Kamin ’79 interweaves in-depth analyses of the College’s architecture and landscape architecture with campus lore. Readers will learn, for example, of the townspeople who gathered to construct Amherst’s first building, South College, in 1820 and how the poet Emily Dickinson’s grandfather secured a donation from a farmer in nearby Pelham to fund the iconic Johnson Chapel. A specially commissioned hand-drawn map locates buildings and highlights historic and contemporary architecture elements throughout the Amherst campus.


A book with the title Amherst College: An Architectural Tour and a photo of Johnson Chapel Amherst College: The Campus Guide

By Blair Kamin ’79
Forward by Biddy Martin
Photographs by Ralph Lieberman

Princeton Architectural Press, 2020
256 pages, 120 color and black-and-white photographs
$37.50 paperback with flaps and a campus map

About the Authors

  • Blair Kamin ’79 is the Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Biddy Martin is the president of Amherst College.
  • Ralph Lieberman is an architectural historian and photographer.

For sale through Amazon