Burl Noggle (1924-2013)

We at the Press are sad to note the passing of LSU Professor Emeritus of History Burl Noggle, an outstanding scholar in the field of twentieth-century American history and author of three books published by LSU Press.

A native of North Carolina, Professor Noggle received his Ph.D. in history from Duke University and then taught briefly at New Mexico State University before settling into his long career here at LSU. His Press books are Teapot Dome: Oil and Politics in the 1920s (1962); Working with History: The Historical Records Survey in Louisiana and the Nation, 1936-1942 (1981); and The Fleming Lectures: A Historiographical Essay (1992).

A former Press editor, John Easterly, now retired, fondly remembers Professor Noggle as a fine teacher whose course on the New Deal and World War II made a huge impression on him as an LSU undergrad. Among other things, in that 1968 class Noggle introduced him to James Agee and Walker Evans’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and to the New York Review of Books. Noggle’s reading always struck him as very wide, especially for its including literature. He discovered that Noggle used John Dos Passos’s U.S.A. trilogy of novels, for instance, in his course on America from the Progressive Era to the 1920s, and it became one of John’s favorite works of fiction.

Professor Noggle’s most wide-ranging book is Into the Twenties: The United States from Armistice to Normalcy (1974), and in the years just prior to its publication, students in his courses, John recalls, learned much about demobilization after World War I, President Woodrow Wilson’s struggles during that time, and the Red Scare—a fascinating, turbulent period that Noggle’s work did much to establish as a rich field for U.S. historians.
All of us at the Press are proud to be the publisher of three of his fine books and grateful to have had his friendship over these many years.