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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


Mary Beth Norton

Mary Beth Norton is the Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History at Cornell University, where she has taught since 1971 and where she is also a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow. She is well versed in the voyages of Christopher Columbus and in exploration of the Atlantic by his successors. For six years she taught, with Cornell astronomer Steven Squyres, a one-of-a kind and extremely popular undergraduate course, History of Exploration: Land, Sea, and Space.

Mary Beth's book The British-Americans (1972) won the Allan Nevins Prize of the Society of American Historians. Her Founding Mothers and Fathers (1996) was a finalist for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize in history, and her In the Devil’s Snare (2002) was a finalist for the L.A. Times book award in history. Her most recent book is Separated by Their Sex (2011), and she is currently working on a new book on the period immediately preceding the outbreak of fighting in the American Revolution.

Mary Beth was Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University and has held fellowships from the Rockefeller, Guggenheim, Mellon, and Starr Foundations, as well as from Princeton University and the Huntington Library.