Jill Lepore (born 1966) is a professor of American history at Harvard University and chair of Harvard's History and Literature Program. She is a staff writer at The New Yorker, and her essays and reviews have also appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The American Scholar, and in scholarly journals including the Journal of American History, The American Historical Review, and American Quarterly.
Youth and education
Lepore was born and grew up in West Boylston, a small town outside of Worcester, Massachusetts. Although she had no early desire to become a historian, she claims to have wanted to be a writer from the age of six. Lepore entered college with an ROTC scholarship, starting as a math major. Eventually she left ROTC and changed her major to English.
Lepore earned her B.A. in English from Tufts University in 1987, an M.A. in American Culture from University of Michigan in 1990, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University in 1995, where she specialized in the history of early America.
Lepore taught at the University of California-San Diego and at Boston University before starting at Harvard. In addition to her books of history, in 2008 Lepore published a historical novel, Blindspot, written with co-author Jane Kamensky, a history professor at Brandeis University. Previously, Lepore and Kamensky had co-founded an online history journal called "Common-place".
- The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity, 1998
- Encounters in the New World: A History in Documents, 1999
- A is for American: Letters and Other Characters in the Newly United States, 2002
- New York Burning: Liberty and Slavery in an Eighteenth-Century City, 2005
- Blindspot: A Novel, with Jane Kamensky, 2008
- The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle over American History, Princeton University Press, 2010
- The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death, 2012
- The Story of America: Essays on Origins, 2012
- Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin, 2013
Articles and essays
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- "Historians Who Love Too Much: Reflections on Microhistory and Biography, Journal of American History, 88 (June 2001): 129–44.
- "Just the Facts, Ma'am", The New Yorker, 24 March 2008.
- "American Chronicles: Twilight". The New Yorker 87 (04): 30–35. 11 Mar 2011.
Awards and honors
- 1999 Bancroft Prize for The Name of War (1998). It also won the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the Berkshire Prize, and was a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Award.
- 2006 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award (nonfiction) for New York Burning (2005)
- 2006 Pulitzer Prize for History finalist for New York Burning (2005)
- 2012 Sarah Josepha Hale Award
- 2013 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay runner-up
- 2013 National Book Award for Nonfiction finalist for Book of Ages
- "The Public Historian - A Conversation with Jill Lepore". Humanities Magazine. September/October 2009.
- "Jill Lepore", Faculty, Harvard University, accessed 12 Oct 2010
- Hale Award Winners Webpage
- "2013 National Book Award Finalists Announced". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- "2013 National Book Awards". NBF. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
- History Department faculty profile at Harvard University
- Column archive at The New Yorker
- Riggenbach, Jeff (March 18, 2011). "Is the Tea Party's Revolution Serious?". Mises Daily (Ludwig von Mises Institute). – reviews The Whites of Their Eyes
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Works by or about Jill Lepore in libraries (WorldCat catalog)