“He never lost track of his chapters, always knowing which direction he was going and never leading,” said Bob Bender, vice president and executive director of Simon & Schuster.
Professor Jean Edward Smith is the author of numerous scholarly articles and over a dozen books, including the book John Marshall: Definer of a Nation, which brought him to Marshall University. Smith was a renowned biographer and political scientist who helped revive the nefarious reputation of underrated presidents.
September 1,, marked the second anniversary of her death as her friends, family and teachers still mourn her passing and her great accomplishments at the Joan C. Edwards Gaming House.
“His life was devoted to writing, nothing would interfere. He would work for a few months, then take a break from traveling, and then once his adventures were over he would come back to writing, ”said his wife, Christine Smith.
George F. Will, Charles F. Hobson, Robert Bender and Jan-Werner Müller were all honored to speak and pay tribute to lost colleague Jean Edward Smith.
Charles F. Hobson was a member of the planning conference of the John Marshall Research Center and editor for 25 years of John Marshall’s papers. Hobson has his own books, The Grand Chief Justice: John Marshall and the Rule of Law (1996), The Great Yazoo Lands Sale: the Fletcher vs. Peck case (2016). In 2010, his one-volume edition of John Marshall: Writings was published by the Library of America.
Hobson first met Smith in the 1990s in letters to the editor of the New York Times. Between 1992-96 was their most intense relationship.
The meeting between Hobson and Smiths in the 90s turned into a professional and personal relationship peaking at two Marshall Bi-Centennials from 2001 and 2003 from Chief Justice.
“Smith could not wait for his publication from John Marshall to be able to start his next book To agree“said Hobson.
Smith’s drafts came from original sources, then checking the interpretations.
Jan-Werner Müller unfortunately never met Professor Smith. He was Roger Williams Stratus professor of social science at Princeton in 2005. However, he has read his books and found inspiration in them. In 2019, Müller came to Marshall and presented a talk focused on his book What is Populism (2016), which is transcribed into 25 different languages.
Three points Müller touched on were political ethics, places, and broader political developments. In addition there are two types of leaders in the book, The defense of Berlin (2019), a delight for the leader, and clearly shows that the Cold War was inevitable.
“Take leave of the idea that there was no golden age when the United States and European countries worked together,” said Müller.
The Liberation of Paris (2019) and The Defense of Berlin both describe military leaders who set orders. Smith’s books taught Müller what it takes historians to understand what really happened.
Bob Bender, who was Professor Smith’s editor at Simon & Schuster, worked with Smith on his books Grant and Liberation of Paris. Smith needed a new book publisher, so Bender did what he needed to do and was able to work with Smith. The book To agree was to grasp military strategy and as president. Grant was underrated as president. In 2001, the book To agree won a Pulitzer Prize.
Smith’s biographies were between 600 and 700 pages long, but kept the story moving. He took it chapter by chapter sending it in for comments before continuing and had a great sense of proper writing.
George F. Will, Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist, political analyst, commentator, syndicated by The Washington Post, and appears in the Washington Post twice a week in more than 440 newspapers was honored to be able to come from Washington to talk about his friend Jean Forgeron.
Will was hired by Smith, who was the president of political science at Columbia University.
“Smith is the model for what a teacher should be,” Will said. “Education is the praise and importance of individuals. ”