Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philip de Armond Curtin was educated at Swarthmore College and at Harvard University, from which he received a Ph.D. in history in 1953. That same year he joined the Swarthmore faculty as an instructor and assistant professor. In 1956, he moved on to the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he remained for 14 years. During that time he was chair of the Wisconsin University Program in Comparative World History, the Wisconsin African Studies Program, and for five years, Melville J. Herskovits Professor. In 1975, he joined the department of history at Johns Hopkins University. In addition to holding Guggenheim fellowships in 1966 and 1980 and being a senior fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Curtin has taken a leadership role in various organizations, including the African Studies Association, the International Congress of Africanists, and the American Historical Association. He also has gained recognition for his influential books on African history, including The Image of Africa (1964), Africa Remembered (1967), and The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census (1969). In the latter, he demonstrated that the number of Africans who reached the New World during the centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade had been highly exaggerated.
Born in Ireland in 1729, Edmund Burke was an English statesman, author, and orator who is best remembered as a formidable advocate for those who were victims of injustice. He was the son of a Dublin lawyer and had also trained to practice law. In the 1760s, Burke was elected to the House of Commons from the Whig party. Burke spent most of his career in Parliament as a member of the Royal Opposition, who was not afraid of controversy, as shown by his support for the American Revolution and for Irish/Catholic rights. His best-known work is Reflections on the French Revolution (1790). Some other notable works are On Conciliation with the American Colonies (1775) and Impeachment of Warren Hastings (1788). Edmund Burke died in 1797.