historian

Over the course of his distinguished career, Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough has spoken before Congress, the White House, historical societies, and other esteemed institutions -- including Union College in Schenectady.

Now, at a time of self-reflection in America following a bitter election campaign that has left the country divided, McCullough has collected some of his most important speeches in a brief volume designed to identify important principles and characteristics that are particularly American.

The book is entitled The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For

In 1797, eight years after the mutiny on the HMS Bounty, came a mutiny aboard the British frigate HMS Hermione—the bloodiest mutiny ever suffered by the Royal Navy.  In American Sanctuary, historian and author Roger Ekirch shares the story of Jonathan Robbins, one of the mutineers who made his way to American shores, and for whom the British called for extradition. 

He let it be known that he was an American citizen from Connecticut and had been impressed into service by the British. In one of the most catastrophic blunders of his administration, the extradition was sanctioned by President John Adams, and Robbins was sentenced to death by the British and hanged. Adams’ miscalculation ignited a political firestorm, fanned by the news of Robbins’ execution without his constitutional rights of due process and trial by jury. 

To coincide with the bicentennial of Henry David Thoreau's birth, naturalist and historian Kevin Dann has written a biography that fills a gap in our understanding of one modern history's most important spiritual visionaries by capturing the full arc of Thoreau's life as a mystic, spiritual seeker, and explorer in transcendental realms.

The book is Expect Great Things: The Life and Search of Henry David Thoreau.

Award-winning author and journalist Marc Wortman will discuss his new book 1941: Fighting the Shadow War tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 pm at the Boardman Road Branch Library of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District.

Conventional wisdom dictates that the US entered World War II on December 8, 1941 in retaliation for the bombing of Pearl Harbor. However, historian Marc Wortman reveals the ways in which America played an increasingly significant and clandestine role in the war in the months and years prior to officially joining the battle.

  Historian Chris Bray (himself a former soldier) has a new book: Court-Martial: How Military Justice Has Shaped America from the Revolution to 9/11 and Beyond. It is an account of how military justice has shaped American society since the nation’s beginnings.

With a great eye for narrative, tells the sweeping story of military justice from the institution of the court martial in the earliest days of the Republic to contemporary arguments over how to use military courts to try foreign terrorists or soldiers accused of sexual assault.

Throughout, he shows that the separate justice system of the armed forces has often served as a proxy for America’s ongoing arguments over equality, privacy, discrimination, security, and liberty. Chris Bray is a former infantry sergeant in the United States Army and holds a PhD in history from UCLA. 

    All American presidents are commanders in chief by law. Not all have performed as such in practice. In his new book, in Roosevelt’s Centurions, distinguished historian Joseph Persico reveals how, during World War II, Franklin Roosevelt seized the levers of wartime power like no president since Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

Prior to beginning his career as a historian and biographer, Joseph Persico was chief speechwriter for New York governor and later U.S. vice president, Nelson A. Rockefeller. He has written 13-books, including many about FDR and the Roosevelt era – including: Roosevelt’s Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage and Franklin and Lucy: FDR and the Remarkable Women in His Life.

  The Roosevelt Library remains the premier research center in the world for study and research on the 32nd President of the United States. It contains more than 17-million pages of documents. The library is a critical historical resource and educational destination used by scholars, researchers and historians.

Historian Douglas Brinkley is a scholar, author, and sought-after news commentator. He is a professor of history and Baker Institute Fellow at Rice University and has written books on Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. His new book is on FDR and why we are lucky enough to have him join us this morning.