A haunting conversation with Richard White, Margaret Bryne Professor of American History, emeritus at Stanford University, about his new book Who Killed Jane Stanford? A Gilded Age Tale of Murder, Deceit, Spirits and the Birth of a University. This programming is brought to you in partnership with the Pasadena Literary Alliance.
Richard White is the Margaret Byrne Professor of American History, emeritus at Stanford University. He has written widely on the American West, the Gilded Age, environmental history, the history of capitalism, and Native America.
Richard White is an historian of the United States specializing in the American West, the history of capitalism, environmental history, history and memory, and Native American history. His work has occasionally spilled over into Mexico, Canada, France, Australia and Ireland. He is a MacArthur Fellow and a recipient of the Mellon Distinguished Professor Award. White has won numerous academic prizes, and twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Who Killed Jane Stanford? penetrates the fog of corruption and cover-up still surrounding the murder of a Stanford University founder to establish who did it, how, and why. Deftly sifting the scattered evidence and conflicting stories of suspects and witnesses, Richard White gives us the first full account of Jane Stanford’s murder and its cover-up. Against a backdrop of the city’s machine politics, rogue policing, tong wars, and heated newspaper rivalries, White’s search for the murderer draws us into Jane Stanford’s imperious household and the academic enmities of the university.
William DeverellKathleen Waller
William Deverell is professor of history at the University of Southern California and director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, which he founded in 2004. He is the author of numerous studies of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century American West, including Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican Past, Railroad Crossing: Californians and the Railroad, 1850-1910 and To Bind Up the Nation’s Wounds: The American West in the Aftermath of the Civil War. His forthcoming book, Kathy Fiscus, A Tragedy that Transfixed the Nation, tells the story of the first live, breaking-news TV spectacle in American history when in 1949, a three-year old girl fell down an abandoned well shaft in the backyard of her family’s home in Southern California.