David E. Kaiser

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For the physicist and historian of science, see David Kaiser.
David Kaiser

David E. Kaiser, born June 7, 1947, is an American historian whose published works have covered a broad range of topics, from European Warfare to American League Baseball. He was a Professor in the Strategy and Policy Department of the Naval War College from 1990 until 2012 and has also taught at Carnegie Mellon, Williams College(2006-7 and 2012-3), and Harvard University.

Early life[edit]

The son of a diplomat, Kaiser spent his childhood in three capital cities: Washington D.C., Albany, New York, and Dakar, Senegal. He attended Harvard University, graduating with a B.A. in history in 1969. He then spent several years at Harvard University gaining a PhD in history, which he obtained in 1976. He served in the Army Reserve from 1970 to 1976.

Published works[edit]

His works include: Economic Diplomacy and the Origins of the Second World War, Postmortem: New Evidence in the Case of Sacco and Vanzetti (with William Young), Politics and War: European Conflict from Philip II to Hitler, and Epic Season: The 1948 American League Pennant Race. His book, American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War, was winner of the 2001 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award (History Category). The Road to Dallas, which examined the evidence in the Kennedy Assassination was published in 2008. In December 2008 he published a collection of his blog entries History Unfolding : Crisis and Rebirth in American Life 2004-2008. He is now completing a new book on US entry into the Second World War.

The Road to Dallas[edit]

Kaiser's newest book, The Road to Dallas, about the Kennedy assassination, was published by Harvard University Press in 2008. The book accepts the Warren Commission's finding that Lee Harvey Oswald was the loan gunman, but posits that he was an opponent of Castro used by mafia leaders who wanted Kennedy and Castro dead.[1] Publishers Weekly's review stated: "While plenty of authors have argued that the Mafia and anti-Castro Cubans were behind the assassination of President Kennedy, few have done so as convincingly as... Kaiser."[2] Kirkus Reviews said that "the narrative’s level of detail, sober style, strict adherence to its double-track theory and plausible argument make it worthy of consideration."[3]

Timothy Naftali review for The Washington Post stated that he did not find Kaiser's arguments to be plausible or persuasive and described The Road to Dallas as "manic and unreadable".[1]In a lengthy review for Washington Decoded, Max Holland stated The Road to Dallas was "the most embarrassing work about the assassination ever printed by a scholarly press".[4]


In order to give current events an historical perspective, Kaiser writes on his blog History Unfolding, a post titled A historian's comments on current events, foreign and domestic.

In April 2009, a viral email comparing Barack Obama to the rise of the Third Reich was wrongly [1] attributed to Kaiser. Kaiser has stated that the email is a forgery.[5] The email does not reflect Kaiser's actual views.[6] Snopes.com [2] traced the email content to an anonymous commenter on Pat Dollard's blog. The New York Times reported on this on November 3rd, 2012 as well [7] in the form of an Op-Ed piece by a Physics/History of Science professor also named David Kaiser who has incorrectly been attributed to the essay.

External links[edit]

  • Interview with Kaiser on "New Books in History."


  1. ^ a b Naftali, Tim (January 15, 2009). "Book Reviews: 'The Road to Dallas' by D. Kaiser and 'Brothers in Arms' by G. Russo and S. Molton". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  2. ^ Publishers Weekly (November 26, 2007). "The Road to Dallas: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy". http://www.publishersweekly.com. Publishers Weekly. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ Kirkus Reviews (January 1, 2008). "THE ROAD TO DALLAS: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy". http://www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  4. ^ Holland, Max (April 11, 2008). "Harvard Does Dallas". http://www.washingtondecoded.com. Washington Decoded. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ http://historyunfolding.blogspot.com/2010/02/civilization-and-self-restraint.html
  6. ^ http://historyunfolding.blogspot.com/2009_08_01_archive.html
  7. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/opinion/sunday/i-didnt-write-that.html