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Richard H. Popkin (1923-2005)

    My father, Richard H. Popkin, the prominent historian of philosophy, died on 14 April 2005. He was a prolific scholar who published widely on a variety of subjects, most notably the history of skepticism (or, as he always insisted on spelling it, “scepticism”), Jewish-Christian intellectual relations in the early modern period, millenarian thought, and many other topics. He also published one of the first books challenging the Warren Commission report about the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

    It has been difficult to compile a complete bibliography of my father’s hundreds of publications. I intend to post the most accurate listing available on this site in the near future. The list continues to grow as some of his last projects are still in press. One project that he was working on at the time of his death, an essay on the intellectual influence of Rabbi Isaac of Troki’s 16th-century polemic against Christianity, the Chizzuk Emunah, is due to appear in the fall of 2007 as the forward to Disputing Christianity, a volume which will also contain the text of George Bethune English’s The Grounds of Christianity Examined, the first presentation of Rabbi Isaac’s arguments in English, and biographical information about English. For information about ordering Disputing Christianity, visit

    In accordance with my father’s wishes, his scholarly papers have been donated to the William Andrews Clark Library at UCLA. As of fall 2007, the Popkin Papers amount to more than 60 cartons of material, including research notes, manuscripts, correspondence, photocopies of materials my father gathered in his research, and miscellaneous materials related to his life and work. I am continuing to seek additional materials, particularly correspondence, to add to the collection. For information about consulting the Popkin Papers, contact the Clark Library (

    Several scholarly projects about my father and his work have already been undertaken. A volume of papers originating in a conference about his work held at UCLA in June 2006 is forthcoming in the monograph series he edited for many years, the International Archives of the History of Ideas (now published by Springer). A major conference in honor of his work on the history of skepticism is being held at the Universidade Federale de Minas Gerais in Brazil in October 2007. It is expected that the papers given there will be published in due course.

This page was last updated on: 18 September 2007. Compiled by Jeremy D. Popkin