John Wirth

John D. Wirth (1936-June 20, 2002) was the Gildred Professor of Latin American Studies at Stanford University. Wirth earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1958 and a doctorate in Latin American history in 1967 from Stanford. His dissertation was entitled "Brazilian economic nationalism: trade and steel under Vargas". His first book, "The Politics of Brazilian Development, 1930-1954", won the Bolton Prize in 1971 and his second, "Minas Gerais in the Brazilian Federation, 1889-1937", won an honorable mention in 1978.

Wirth cultivated a wide range of interests during his scholarly career. His research included examinations of Inca and Aztec states, urban growth in Manchester and São Paulo, and Pan-American environmental politics. Wirth, who had retired from Stanford soon before his death, had most turned his attention to the complex relationships between Canada, the United States and Mexico. He co-founded the [ North American Institute] in Santa Fe and served as its president.

Wirth was born in Dawson, New Mexico. in 1936 and developed a deep affection for the northern New Mexico region. His last book by the University of New Mexico Press tells the story of the Los Alamos Ranch School, which was displaced during the war in efforts to build the nuclear bomb. He died on June 20, 2002, in Toronto, Canada, from a heart aneurysm while delivering a lecture to the Friends of Fort Polk, a Canadian historical society.

Wirth was married to Nancy Meem Wirth, daughter of the John Gaw Meem. Together they had three sons: Peter, Nicholas and Timothy. His son, Peter Wirth, was elected in 2004 to the New Mexico State Legislature. His brother Timothy Wirth is a former U.S. senator and now president of the United Nations Foundation.


* "Environmental management on North America's borders" (co-edited with Richard Kiy). College Station, Tex.: Texas A & M University Press, 1998.
* "The politics of Brazilian development 1930-1954". Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1970
* "Minas and the Nation: a study of regional power and dependency, 1889-1937". Stony Brook, N.Y. : State University of New York, 1974
* "Minas Gerais in the Brazilian Federation, 1889-1937". Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1977
* "Manchester and São Paulo: problems of rapid urban growth" (Co-authored with Robert L. Jones). Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1978
* "The oil business in Latin America: the early years". Washington, D.C.: Beard Books, 2001, 1985
* "Latin American oil companies and the politics of energy". Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1985
* "State and society in Brazil: continuity and change" (co-authored with Edson de Oliveira Nunes). Boulder: Westview Press, 1987
* "The media, NAFTA, and the shaping of the North American community". Santa Fe, N.M.: North American Institute, 1994
* "Identities in North America: the search for community" (co-authored with Robert Earle). Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1995
* "Smelter smoke in North America: the politics of transborder pollution". Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas, 2000
* "Los Alamos: the Ranch School years, 1917-1943" (co-authored with Linda Aldrich) Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003

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