Robert V. Hine dies at 93; historian wrote of losing, regaining sight

Historians in the News
tags: obituary, Robert V. Hine

Robert V. Hine, a memoirist, novelist and prolific historian of the American West who wrote a highly praised chronicle of regaining his sight after 15 years of blindness, has died of natural causes at his Irvine home. He was 93.

Hine was a founding member of the faculty at UC Riverside, where he taught history from 1954 to 1990. His death on March 27 was announced last week by UC Irvine, where he spent part of his retirement writing books and mentoring colleagues in the history department.

An expert on California's utopian movements and the philosopher Josiah Royce, Hine wrote or edited more than a dozen books, including an overview of the history of the American West that remains a standard college text more than four decades after its original publication in 1973.

But it was a non-academic work that brought the longtime professor his broadest public recognition. 

A Book-of-the-Month Club selection, "Second Sight"(1993) was a frank, eloquent memoir of his journey into blindness and back, exploring not only his own experiences but those of other blind writers, including humorist James Thurber and poet Jorge Luis Borges.

In the book he suggested that if anyone could adapt to the requirements of a sightless life, he was such a person. ...

Read entire article at The Los Angeles Times

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