Karl Weintraub

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Karl Joachim "Jock" Weintraub (1924 – March 25, 2004) was a longtime professor of history at the University of Chicago, having taught there since 1954. He was a strong proponent of liberal education and wrote and spoke extensively on its value.

Weintraub was born in Germany to parents of German and Russian-Jewish ancestry; as a result of their heritage, they fled to the Netherlands in 1935, where they were forced into hiding during the Nazi occupation.[1] He and his sister Tatjana Wood emigrated to the United States in 1948. He received his post-secondary education at the University of Chicago, attaining a B.A. in 1949, a Master's in 1952, and a Ph.D. in History in 1957.[2]

Weintraub's scholarship focused on culture, autobiography, and the history of the self; he was the author of Visions Of Culture (1966) and The Value Of The Individual: Self and Circumstance in Autobiography (1978). Weintraub noted that 18th- and 19th-century autobiographical writers often used a narrative of "development" in their stories, as distinct from earlier autobiographies' use of a narrative of "unfolding".[3] He was a renowned teacher of the University of the Chicago's core course in Western Civilization, which is still taught by his wife Katy O'Brien Weintraub. Weintraub's classes, with a head count typically capped in the twenties, would attract hundreds of potential students and were some of the most popular classes at the college for many years.[4]