Foreign Policy Research Institute

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FPRI Authors and Contributors

Walter A. McDougall

Walter A. McDougall is the Co-Chair of FPRI's Madeleine and W.W. Keen Butcher History Institute, Chairman of FPRI Board of Advisors, Chair of FPRI's Center for the Study of America and the West, and sits on the Board of Editors for FPRI's journal, Orbis. He is the Alloy-Ansin Professor of International Relations and Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania.  His honors include a Pulitzer Prize, election to the Society of American Historians, and appointment to the Library of Congress Council of Scholars.  McDougall graduated from New Trier (Illinois) High School (1964) and Amherst College (1968).  After service in the U.S. Army artillery during the Vietnam War, McDougall took a PhD under world historian William H. McNeill at the University of Chicago (1974).  The following year he was hired by the University of California, Berkeley, and taught there until 1988, when he was offered the chair at Penn.  McDougall is also a Senior Fellow at Philadelphia's Foreign Policy Research Institute where he edited its journal Orbis and now co-directs its History Academy for secondary school teachers.  His articles and columns have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Commentary, and other national publications.  An unabashed generalist, his books range from France's Rhineland Diplomacy 1914-1924: The Last Bid for a Balance of Power in Europe (1978), and ...the Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age (1985), to Let the Sea Make a Noise: A History of the North Pacific From Magellan to MacArthur (1992), Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter with the World Since 1776 (1997), and Freedom Just Around the Corner: A New American History 1585-1828 (2004).  His latest book, Throes of Democracy: The American Civil War Era 1829-1877 (2008), was chosen by the Athenæum of Philadelphia as best book of the year by a local author.  A devotee of books, sports, politics, and all kinds of music from Bach to Bob Dylan, McDougall lives with his wife and two teenagers in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

Walter A. McDougall
Alloy-Ansin Professor of International Relations
International Relations Program
University of Pennsylvania
635 Williams Hall
255 S. 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305 USA