I am a professor of history at Temple University and president of the Society for Military History. I earned my Ph.D. in 1984 from the University of Notre Dame, and taught in Kansas and Arkansas before coming to Temple in 1999. I have published eight books, including _Custer Victorious: The Civil War Battles of General George Armstrong Custer_, _Facing Fearful Odds: The Siege of Wake Island_, and _Black Flag over Dixie: Racial Atrocities and Reprisals in the Civil War_. My ninth book, _Victory in Defeat: The Wake Island Defenders in Captivity, 1941-1945_, was released by Naval Institute Press in November 2010. Aided by fellowships from the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan, Society of the Cincinnati, and Virginia Historical Society, I am now hard at work researching my tenth book, which is tentatively titled, "When Freedom Wore a Red Coat: A Social History of Cornwallis' 1781 Virginia Campaign."
My publications have won the General Wallace M. Greene, Jr., Award from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and the Harold L. Peterson Award from the Eastern National Park and Monuments Association. I have lectured at the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy, American Philosophical Society, David Library of the American Revolution, U.S. Army War College, National World War 2 Museum, Fort Ticonderoga, and Philadelphia's Union League. I am vice president of the Society for Military History, a fellow of the Company of Military Historians, an academic fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and general editor of the Campaigns and Commanders Series from University of Oklahoma Press. I have appeared in numerous documentaries on the History Channel, A&E, PBS, and commercial television (including _Wake Island-Alamo of the Pacific_, _Washington the Warrior_, the six-part _Washington's Generals_, and the twenty-six-part series _The Last Days of World War II_). I also worked as a troop trainer and extra in the Oscar-winning Civil War epic film, _Glory_.
I like writing military history from the bottom up. As the son and grandson of U.S. Army enlisted men, my heart is with the rank and file who bear brunt of all wars, although I appreciate the importance of effective leadership. I am also interested in the role that race has played in American military, social, and political history. My next book on Cornwallis' 1781 Virginia Campaign will focus on how that British general's liberation of thousands of slaves exposed the vulnerability of the revolutionary cause.
As a professional historian, I feel a responsibility to broaden the frontiers of knowledge through scholarly work. At the same time, I believe that history should be well written to make its lessons accessible to the widest possible audience.