Burton Bledstein classed his book The Culture of Professionalism with the work of the giants in American academic history. He suggested that his theory of the culture of professionalism ranked in significance with Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier thesis, Charles A. Beard's industrialization theories, and Perry Miller's analysis of Puritanism. Bledstein's fresh historical perspective on higher education and his skepticism regarding professional authority no doubt were shaped by his experiences at elite public and private institutions, the University of California at Los Angeles (B.A., 1959) and Princeton (Ph.D., 1967). He has spent his whole professional life at one public institution, the University of Illinois at Chicago, with brief interludes provided by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1972–73) and the University of Chicago (1977–78), the latter in recognition of his book.