Title: History Professor
Company: Princeton University
Location: Princeton, New Jersey, United States
James M. McPherson, PhD, History Professor at Princeton University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in history and higher education.
A George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of United States History at Princeton University for 13 years, Dr. McPherson amassed more than 40 years of professional experience prior to his retirement in 2004. Previously, he was a full professor at the university from 1962 to 1991, as well as a fellow of several institutions, including the Huntington-Seaver Institute, the Huntington-National Endowment for the Humanities, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Alongside his primary endeavors, he was a Jefferson lecturer at the Phi Beta Kappa Society in 2000.
To prepare for his illustrious career, Dr. McPherson pursued an education at Gustavus Adolphus College, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in 1958. He subsequently became a Danforth Fellow for the following four years. Soon thereafter, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University in 1953. After obtaining some hands-on experience in the field, he completed a fellowship through the Behavioral Sciences Center at Stanford University from 1982 to 1983.
A leading voice in his areas of interest, Dr. McPherson maintains affiliation with several organizations, including the American History Association, where he served as president from 2003 to 2004, and the Society of American Historians, where he also served as president from 1999 to 2000. He remains a member of the Organization of American Historians, the Southern History Association, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
A prolific author, Dr. McPherson has penned nearly 30 books in relation to his areas of expertise. Most recently, he published “The War That Forged a Nation: Why the Civil War Still Matters” in 2015, “Embatted Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief” in 2014, and “War on the Waters: The Union & Confederate Navies, 1861-1865” in 2012. Much earlier in his career, he also authored several other books regarding the Civil War, including “Marching Toward Freedom: The Negro in the Civil War” in 1968, “The Negro’s Civil War: How American Negros Felt and Acted During the War for the Union” in 1965, and “Struggle for Equality: Abolitionists and the Negro in the Civil War and Reconstruction” in 1964. Additionally, he has contributed several articles to peer-reviewed publications and has served on the editorial board of Encyclopedia Britannica.
In recognition of his exceptional achievements in the fields of history and education, Dr. McPherson has accrued numerous accolades during his impressive career. The recipient of the Lincoln Prize for his book “Tried By War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief” in 2009, he also won the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award in 2007, a $100,000 prize for lifetime achievement in military history, of which he was the first to be presented with this honor. In addition, he was honored with the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Prize in Naval History for his book “Lamson of the Gettysburg: The Civil War Letters of Lieutenant Roswell H. Lamson, U.S. Navy” in 1998, as well as another Lincoln Prize for “For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War” in 1998. Notably, Dr. McPherson was presented with the Pulitzer Prize for History for “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era” in 1989, which he considers to be the highlight of his career, and the Ainsfield-Wolf Award for Race Relations for “Struggle for Equality: Abolitionists and the Negro in the Civil War and Reconstruction” in 1965.
Dr. McPherson attributes his success to two of his history professors during his undergraduate studies in the 1950s, Professors Rodney Davis and Girheart Alexis, and a historian at Johns Hopkins University, C. Van Woodward. Married to Patricia Rasche since 1957, he is the proud father of one daughter. Dr. McPherson was selected for inclusion in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, and Who’s Who in the East. He was also presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.
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