Walter A. McDougall
Walter A. McDougall (born 1946) is an American historian and a Pulitzer Prize winner. He is Professor of History and the Alloy-Ansin Professor of International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania.
McDougall graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College, before completing his Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago in 1974. He was a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution, and a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. He also received an Earhart Foundation Fellowship. He was a professor at the University of California, Berkeley for 13 years, before moving to Pennsylvania. He is a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and also an editor of Orbis, quarterly journal of world affairs published by the institute.
McDougall is the author of many books on history. In 1986 he received the Pulitzer Prize for History for his book ...the Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age. In the book, he examined the American, European, and Soviet space programs and their politics. He argued that the Soviet Union made its way into space first because it was the world's first "technocracy". He defined technocracy as "the institutionalization of technological change for state purpose." He also examined the growth of a political economy of technology in the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
He also wrote Let the Sea Make a Noise: A History of the North Pacific from Magellan to MacArthur in 1993 and Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter With the World Since 1776 in 1997. In 2004 he wrote Freedom Just Around the Corner: A New American History, 1585–1828, in which he described the United States as "the central event of the past four hundred years." He showed that with their historically unequaled freedom American's found various ways to satisfy both their good and bad desires. In 2008 he published Throes of Democracy: The American Civil War Era, 1829–1877, in which he covered all the major events and social forces of the Civil War era.
McDougall and his wife, the former Jonna Van Zanten, have two children and reside in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. His interests include books, music from Bach to Bob Dylan, chess, baseball, bridge, golf and C.S. Lewis.
- "Walter A. McDougall". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
- "Walter A. McDougall". Ashland University. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
- "...the Heavens and the Earth A Political History of the Space Age". Johns Hopkins University Press. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
- "Book: Freedom Just Around the Corner". The Washington Post. April 26, 2004. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
- Kazin, Michael (March 23, 2008). "Clash of the Zealots". The New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
- Booknotes interview with McDougall on Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter with the World Since 1776, June 15, 1997.