February 8, 2013
Four-time winner and honorary award recipient shares insights on Translation Prize
At the 28th Annual Awards Ceremony of the French-American Foundation and Florence Gould Foundation Translation Prize on June 10, 2015, the Foundation presented an Honorary Award to four-time Translation Prize-winner Arthur Goldhammer, translator of Thomas Piketty’s bestselling Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press) in 2014. Prior to the ceremony, Goldhammer joined us to discuss his work and longstanding history with the Translation Prize.
Goldhammer, Co-Chair of the Contemporary Europe Study Group at the Harvard University Center for European Studies, has translated more than 125 books from French, for which he won numerous awards. These include four French-American Foundation Translation Prizes for his translations of The Ancien Régime and the French Revolution by Alexis de Tocqueville (Cambridge University Press) in 2011, Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville (The Library of America) in 2004, Realms of Memory: The Construction of the French Past, Vol.1 by Pierre Nora (Columbia University Press) in 1996, and A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution by François Furet and Mona Ozouf (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press) in 1990. Goldhammer has a B.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from MIT and has taught at Brandeis University and Boston University.
In this last year, you translated Thomas Piketty’s bestselling book on income inequality, Capital in the 21st Century. What was your first impression of this book? How did it come about that you became the translator of this book?
As anyone who has read Piketty’s book knows, it’s a rather lengthy and ambitious pursuit. What was your reaction to being faced with 600 pages of economic analysis?