Inventing Norman Cantor: Confessions of a Medievalist

ACMRS Occasional Publications Series, Vol. 1

Inventing Norman Cantor: Confessions of a Medievalist

By Norman F. Cantor
2002 | 241 pp. | 978-0-86698-293-1 | Cloth 6 x 9 in
$28.95 | £24.00 |

Norman F. Cantor, who died in 2004, was one of the leading American medieval historians of his generation, and in terms of the size of the readership of his books among the educated public, he was America’s premier medievalist.

Cantor’s memoir and sequel to his hugely popular Inventing the Middle Ages, is a sharp-edged psychological self-portrait that gives the reader an immediate sense of the frustrations and joys of university life. He relates his life from his early days as a Jewish cowboy on his father’s cattle ranch in Canada to his career as a prominent scholar, teacher, and university administrator in American academia. With unusual courage and exemplary frankness, he provides an intimate view of his private and professional life, not flinching from acknowledging mistakes he has made. Tender, angry, sharp, and full of startling details and humorous anecdotes, the book is worth reading, not for its sensational personal portraits but for its message of belief in medieval European culture and the abiding significance of medieval spirituality amid the shattered, narcissistic cultures of the twenty-first century.

The original cover design was painted by famed American artist Fritz Scholder.

Click here for a review of the book by Professor Kathleen Verduin, Department of English, Hope College, Holland, Michigan. The review was published in Perspicuitas.