Robert O. Paxton

Mellon Professor Emeritus of Social Sciences

Columbia University

Robert O. Paxton, Mellon Professor Emeritus of Social Science, specializes in the social and political history of Modern Europe, particularly Vichy France during the World War II era. Paxton has worked on two issues within the general area of modern European history: France during the Nazi occupation of 1940-1944; and the rise and spread of fascism. He was the first in the 1960s and 1970s to establish, on the basis of German archives, the active collaboration of Vichy France within Hitler's Europe, a finding received coolly at first in France and now largely accepted. He continues to speak, write, and research in these fields. In 2009 he served as guest curator for an exhibition at the New York Public Library entitled "Between Collaboration and Resistance: French Literary Life Under Nazi Occupation."