Alan Taylor (historian)
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Alan Shaw Taylor (born 1955 Portland, Maine) is a historian specializing in early American history. He is the author of a number of books about colonial America, the American Revolution, and the Early American Republic. He has won a Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize for his work.
Taylor graduated from Colby College, in Waterville, Maine, in 1977 and earned his Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1986. His thesis advisor was Marvin Meyers, a historian of Jacksonian America, whom Taylor praised in the preface of his book Writing Early American History (2005). Currently, he is a professor of history at the University of California, Davis, having taught previously at Boston University. He will join the faculty of the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia in 2014.
Taylor is best known for his contributions to microhistory, best exemplified in his William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic (1996,) which won the Bancroft, Beveridge and Pulitzer prizes. Using court records, land records, letters, and diaries, Taylor painstakingly reconstructs the economic, political and social history related to the land speculation, founding and settlement of Cooperstown, New York after the American Revolutionary War.
Taylor is part of a generation of historians committed to the revival of narrative history, rejecting the method-driven, quantitative work of the previous generation of "new social historians" and the theory-laden work of more recent "new cultural historians." In addition to writing books for a wide public readership, he is a regular contributor of book reviews and essays to The New Republic.
Taylor's current research includes a borderlands history of Canada and the United States in the aftermath of the American Revolution. His book The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies was published by Alfred A. Knopf in October 2010.
Taylor is a devoted Boston Red Sox fan, and is known for always wearing historically themed neckties.
- 1996 Bancroft Prize for William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic
- 1996 Beveridge Award for William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic
- 1996 Pulitzer Prize for William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic
- 2013 National Book Award for Nonfiction finalist for The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832
- Liberty Men and Great Proprietors: the Revolutionary Settlement on the Maine Frontier 1760-1820, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press 1990. ISBN 0807819093 OCLC 20421513
- William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995. ISBN 0394580540 OCLC 32665643
- American Colonies, New York: Viking/Penguin, 2001. ISBN 0670872822 OCLC 45804613
- Writing Early American History, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005. ISBN 0812238834 OCLC 57429326
- The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. ISBN 0679454713 OCLC 58043162
- The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. ISBN 1400042658 OCLC 503042145
- Colonial America: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press,USA: 2012. ISBN 9780199766239 OCLC 781680690
- The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2013. ISBN 9780393073713 OCLC 840934500
- Faculty page at University of Callifornia Davis http://history.ucdavis.edu/people/szalanta
- "2013 National Book Award Finalists Announced". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- "2013 National Book Awards". NBF. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- "The Pulitzer Guy", Colby College Colby Magazine, Winter 2002
- History Department profile, University of California, Davis
- Lecture on The Civil War of 1812, Pritzker Military Library