Robert O. Paxton

Robert O. Paxton (born in 1932) is an American political scientist and historian specializing in Vichy France, fascism and Europe during World War II. Paxton is best known for his 1972 book Vichy France: The Old Guard and the New Order, 1940-1944, in which he argued that french co-operation with Germany was a voluntary program on behalf of French State's government and that it was not imposed by the Germans. Paxton studied at Washington and Lee University before graduating from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He obtained his Ph. D. from Harvard University. Paxton taught at the University of California, Berkeley University and the New York University in Stony Brook before joining the Columbia University, New York, where he is now Professor of Social Sciences at the Department of History. In April 2009, the French government awarded Paxton a medal of "Legion d'Honneur".