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Ratner, Sidney (1908-1996) (1908-1996) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Ratner, Sidney (1908-1996) (1908-1996)


Historical Note: Sidney Ratner (1908–1996) was a government economist, economic historian, scholar of American philosophy, and professor of history. He was born in New York, NY on June 18, 1908 to Israel and Olga Ratner, who were both Russian immigrants. He majored in philosophy at The City College of New York, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1930. Subsequently, he studied history at Columbia University, earning a Masters of Arts in 1931 and a Ph.D. in 1942. In 1932, he married Louise Rosenblatt, with whom he would have one child, a son named Jonathan Ratner (1948–). Between 1938–1941, he was an instructor at Cooper Union, Sarah Lawrence College, and the New School for Social Research. During World War II, he worked as an economist for the United States government’s Board of Economic Warfare, Foreign Economic Administration, and the Planning Division of the State Department. His work focused on analyzing the economies of the European countries in order to support the Allied war effort, and he notably gained distinction for helping uncover Nazi influence over Swedish manufacturers of ball bearings, which were essential to Allied landing craft and their deployment on D-Day. In 1946, he was hired as Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Rutgers University; there he became Distinguished Professor and retired after a long career in 1978. Some of his most major publications include Taxation and Democracy in America and The Tariff in American History; and his editorial projects Arthur F. Bentley, Inquiry into Inquiries, John Dewey and Arthur Bentley: A Philosophical Correspondence, 1932—1951, and The Philosopher of the Common Man: Essays in Honor of John Dewey. He died on January 9, 1996 at the age of 87 in Princeton, N.J.
Note Author: Nicholas L. Guardiano





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