December 15, 2004
Historian Douglas G. Brinkley, whose best-selling account of John Kerry's service in Vietnam played a central role in the recent presidential election, will join the faculty of Tulane University. Brinkley will teach his first course at Tulane in the fall semester, which begins in August 2005. His focus at Tulane will be 20th century American history and especially diplomatic and presidential history.
In addition, he will serve as director of Tulane's soon-to-be-established Theodore Roosevelt Center for American Civilization where he will host conferences, symposia and guest lectures. Brinkley plans to make the center a world-class institution, attracting the best graduate students.
"Professor Brinkley has an expansive knowledge of American culture and U.S. presidential politics and brings to Tulane a depth of understanding and expertise that will round out our history department," Tulane Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Lester Lefton said. "Professor Brinkley is a seasoned, traditional scholar with the ability to write for the public, thus making history come alive."
Teresa Soufas, dean of the Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty, where Brinkley will make his new home, said she is delighted by Brinkley's appointment.
"Professor Brinkley will join a very accomplished group of colleagues who have established a tradition of excellence in teaching and research. We look forward to his efforts in furthering the study of American civilization," Soufas said.
In addition to Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, Brinkley has authored award-winning biographies of Jimmy Carter, Franklin Roosevelt, Dean Acheson, Rosa Parks and James Forrestal. His 1994 book The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey chronicled his innovative cross-country college history course and led to the creation of the C-SPAN School Bus.
His 2003 Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company and a Century of Progress won numerous honors. Brinkley also edited Jack Kerouac's diaries, Hunter S. Thompson's letters and Theodore Dreiser's travelogue. His collaborative efforts with the late historian Stephen E. Ambrose lead to the bestsellers The Mississippi River and the Making of a Nation: From the Louisiana Purchase to Today and Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938.
Four of Brinkley's books have been chosen as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He is now writing studies on Ronald Reagan (Cold War) and Theodore Roosevelt (conservation). Brinkley is currently the Stephen E. Ambrose Professor of History and director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies at the University of New Orleans.
Prior to that he taught at the U.S. Naval Academy, Princeton University and Hofstra University. He recently was awarded honorary doctorates from Trinity College of Hartford, Connecticut and NOVA Southeastern University of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Brinkley received a B.A. from Ohio State University in 1982. He earned an M.A. in 1983 and a Ph.D. in diplomatic history from Georgetown University in 1989.
Brinkley is a regular historical source for NBC News and is frequently on National Public Radio. He has appeared on numerous national news programs and is an oft-quoted source for major news publications. He is a contributing editor for the Los Angeles Times Book Review and a frequent contributor to the New York Times, The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly. The Chicago Tribune, in a recent profile, deemed Brinkley "America's new past master."
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