Marc Egnal (born December 11, 1943) is an American historian, academic and a professor of history at York University, Toronto, Canada. He completed his B.A. at Swarthmore College in 1965, M.A. in 1967 and Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
He has written on the American Revolution and American Civil War. He is the author of four books on American History including A Mighty Empire: The Origins of the American Revolution (1988); Divergent Paths: How Culture and Institutions Have Shaped North American Growth (1996); and New World Economies:the Growth of the Thirteen Colonies and Early Canada (1998). His recent publications include "The Beards Were Right: Political Parties in the North, 1840-1860," Civil War History, 47 (2001): 30-56; "Rethinking the Secession of the Lower South: A Clash of Two Groups," Civil War History, 50 (2004): 261-290; and "Explaining John Sherman," Ohio History, 114 (2007).
His book, Clash of Extremes: The Economic Origins of the Civil War (2009), argues that "more than any other reason, the evolution of the Northern and Southern economies explains the Civil War." For more on this work, see the book's web site.
Most recently Professor Egnal has turned his attention to US novels and the value of Big Data in understanding this literature. See his essay, "Crunching Literary Numbers," in the Gray Matter column of the New York Times, July 12, 2013.