Douglas Brinkley

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Douglas Brinkley
Brinkley in 2007
Brinkley in 2007
Born (1960-12-14) December 14, 1960 (age 57)
Atlanta, Georgia
Occupation Historian
Nationality American
Genre Nonfiction

Douglas Brinkley (born December 14, 1960) is an American author, Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities[1] and professor of history at Rice University. Brinkley is the history commentator for CNN and a contributing editor to the magazines Vanity Fair[2] and American Heritage.[3] A public spokesperson on conservation issues, Brinkley serves as an editor at Audubon Magazine. He joined the faculty of Rice University as a professor of history in 2007.[4]

Early life[edit]

Brinkley was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1960, but raised in Perrysburg, Ohio. His parents were high school teachers.

Education[edit]

Brinkley was educated at Perrysburg High School,[5] a public high school in his hometown of Perrysburg, Ohio, followed by Ohio State University, from which he earned a B.A. (1982), and Georgetown University, earning an M.A. (1983) and Ph.D. (1989) in U.S. diplomatic history. He has been on the faculty of Hofstra University, the University of New Orleans, Tulane University, and Rice University. He received an honorary doctorate for his contributions to American letters from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.[6]

Life and career[edit]

During the early 1990s, Brinkley taught American Arts and Politics for Hofstra aboard the Majic Bus, a roving transcontinental classroom, from which emerged the book The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey (1993). In 1993, he left Hofstra to teach at the University of New Orleans, where he taught the class again using two natural-gas fueled buses. According to the Associated Press, "...if you can't tour the United States yourself, the next best thing is to go along with Douglas Brinkley aboard The Majic Bus."[7]

Brinkley worked closely with his mentor, historian Stephen E. Ambrose, then director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies at the University of New Orleans. Ambrose chose Brinkley to become director of the Eisenhower Center, a post he held for five years before moving to Tulane University.

Brinkley's first book was Jean Monnet: The Path to European Unity (1992). The publication of Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years (1992) brought Brinkley popular acclaim. He then co-edited a monograph series with Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and William vanden Heuvel in the 1990s. Brinkley also edited a volume on Dean Acheson and the Making of US Foreign Policy with Paul H. Nitze (1993). In 1999, he published The Unfinished Presidency about Jimmy Carter's active and influential post-presidency.

Brinkley is the literary executor for his late friend, the journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson. He is also the editor of a three-volume collection of Thompson's letters. Brinkley is also the authorized biographer for Beat generation author Jack Kerouac, having edited Kerouac's diaries as Windblown World (2004).

He has also written profiles of popular writers Kurt Vonnegut,[8] Norman Mailer, and Ken Kesey for Rolling Stone magazine. In 2009, Brinkley interviewed Bob Dylan in Paris and Amsterdam for a Rolling Stone cover story.[9]

In 2004, Brinkley released Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, about U.S. Senator John Kerry's military service and anti-war activism during the Vietnam War. The 2004 documentary movie, Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry is loosely based on Brinkley's book.[10] Brinkley also wrote the Atlantic Monthly cover story of December 2003 on Kerry.[11]

Brinkley's book The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast is a record of the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast. The book won the 2007 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and was a Los Angeles Times book prize finalist. He also served as the primary historian for Spike Lee's documentary about Hurricane Katrina, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. Critic Nancy Franklin in The New Yorker noted that Brinkley made up a "large part" of the film's "conscience."[12]

FX Productions has announced that they will develop The Great Deluge for the second season of the network’s award-winning American Crime Story series, to air in 2017. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the series will contain thirteen to fifteen episodes.[13]

Brinkley's biography of Walter Cronkite, Cronkite was published in 2012.[14] It was also selected as a Washington Post Book of the Year.

Brinkley and Johnny Depp were nominated for a Grammy for their co-authoring of the liner notes to the documentary: Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.[15] He also co-edited with Johnny Depp the long lost novel of Woody Guthrie titled House of Earth.[16]

Congressional hearing[edit]

On November 18, 2011, during his testimony before a Congressional hearing on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Brinkley had a heated exchange with Rep. Don Young. Young, who had not been present during Brinkley's testimony, nonetheless characterized it as "garbage" and addressed Brinkley as "Dr. Rice." In response, Brinkley stated, "It's Dr. Brinkley. Rice is a university. I know you went to Yuba College and couldn't graduate." Brinkley also noted that Young's comments were made even though Young had not been present during his testimony.[17]

Brinkley continued to argue with Young throughout the hearing until the committee chairman threatened to have Brinkley removed.[18][19]

Critical reception[edit]

Stephen Ambrose, Brinkley's mentor at the University of New Orleans, called Brinkley "the best of the new generation of American historians."[20] Brinkley and Ambrose had co-authored three books.[21] Patrick Reardon of the Chicago Tribune called Brinkley America's "new past master."[22] In addition, during the 2013 inauguration coverage, CNN referred to him as "a man who knows more about the presidency than just about any human being alive."[23] In contrast, in 2006, historian Wilfred McClay in the New York Sun appraised Brinkley's scholarship as one that has failed to "put forward a single memorable idea, a single original analysis, or a single lapidary phrase."[24] Similarly, author Bill Bryson characterized Brinkley as "a minor American academic and sometime critic whose powers of observation and generosity of spirit would fit comfortably into a proton and still leave room for an echo".[25]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • In 2017, Brinkley won a Grammy Award Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for co-producing Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom by the Ted Nash Big Band.[26]
  • Cronkite (2012), a biography of Walter Cronkite, received the Ann M. Sperber Biography Award for 2013.[27]
  • Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America (2009) received the National Outdoor Book Award in the History/Biography category 2009. [28]
  • Driven Patriot (1992), a biography of James Forrestal, received the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Naval History Prize.[citation needed]
  • Brinkley received an honorary doctorate from Hofstra University at commencement in May 2012.[29]
  • In 2004, Brinkley was given the Humanist of the Year award by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.[30]
  • In 1995 he was awarded the Stuart L. Bernath Lecture Prize from the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations (Ceremony: Chicago, Illinois, April 1996).[31]

Personal life[edit]

Brinkley lives in Austin, Texas. He and his wife Anne have three children, Johnny, Benton, and Cassady. He is a member of the Century Association, the Council on Foreign Relations and Society of American Historians.

Works[edit]

Title Year ISBN Publisher Subject matter Interviews, presentations, and reviews Comments
Original works
Driven Patriot: The Life and Times of James Forrestal 1992 ISBN 9780394577616 Alfred A. Knopf James Forrestal Written with Townsend Hoopes
Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years, 1953-71 1992 ISBN 9780300047738 Yale University Press Dean Acheson
The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey 1993 ISBN 9780151556946 Harcourt Describes Brinkley's experiences taking groups of college students on tours of historic sites around the U.S., and at least partly inspired the C-SPAN Bus program Booknotes interview with Brinkley on The Majic Bus, April 18, 1993, C-SPAN
Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy since 1938 1997 ISBN 9780140268317 Penguin Books Foreign policy of the United States Written with Stephen Ambrose
FDR and the Creation of the U.N. 1997 ISBN 9780300069303 Yale University Press Franklin D. Roosevelt, History of the United Nations, Declaration by United Nations Presentation by Hoopes and Brinkley on FDR and the Creation of the U.N., April 29, 1997, C-SPAN Written with Townsend Hoopes
American Heritage History of the United States 1998 ISBN 9780670869664 Viking Press History of the United States
The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter's Journey Beyond the White House 1999 ISBN 9780670880065 Viking Press Post-presidency of Jimmy Carter
Witness to America: An Illustrated Documentary History of the United States from the Revolution to Today, Volume 1 1999 ISBN 9780062716118 HarperCollins History of the United States Presentation by Ambrose and Brinkley on Witness to America, October 30, 1999, C-SPAN Written with Stephen Ambrose
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: The Life of Rosa Parks 2000 ISBN 9780297607083 Weidenfeld & Nicolson Rosa Parks Presentation by Brinkley on Rosa Parks, June 7, 2000, C-SPAN
The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation: From the Louisiana Purchase to Today 2002 ISBN 9780792269137 National Geographic Society The Mississippi River Presentation by Brinkley on The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation, October 30, 2002, C-SPAN Written with Stephen Ambrose
Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress, 1903-2003 2003 ISBN 9781422354568 Viking Penguin Henry Ford, The Ford Motor Company Presentation by Brinkley on Wheels for the World, May 2, 2003, C-SPAN
Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War 2004 ISBN 9780060565237 William Morrow and Company Military career of John Kerry Presentation by Brinkley on Tour of Duty, February 28, 2004, C-SPAN,
Interview with Brinkley on Tour of Duty, October 11, 2004, C-SPAN
Voices of Valor: D-Day, June 6, 1944 2004 ISBN 9780821228890 Bulfinch Press D-Day Written with Ronald J. Drez
The World War II Memorial: A Grateful Nation Remembers 2004 ISBN 9781588342102 Smithsonian Books National World War II Memorial
The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan, D-Day, and the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion 2005 ISBN 9780060565275 William Morrow and Company D-Day, 2nd Ranger Battalion (United States), Ronald Reagan Interview with Brinkley on The Boys of Pointe du Hoc, June 2, 2005, C-SPAN
Parish Priest: Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism 2006 ISBN 9780060776848 William Morrow and Company Michael J. McGivney Presentation by Brinkley on Parish Priest, January 19, 2006, C-SPAN Written with Julie M. Fenster
The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast 2006 ISBN 9780061124235 HarperCollins Hurricane Katrina Washington Journal interview with Brinkley on The Great Deluge, May 26, 2006, C-SPAN,
Presentation by Brinkley on The Great Deluge, June 7, 2006, C-SPAN,
Presentation by Brinkley on The Great Deluge, September 30, 2006, C-SPAN
Gerald R. Ford 2007 ISBN 9780805069099 Times Books Gerald R. Ford
The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America 2009 ISBN 9780060565282 HarperCollins Theodore Roosevelt Part One of Q&A interview with Brinkley on The Wilderness Warrior, June 21, 2009, C-SPAN; Part Two of Q&A interview
The Quiet World: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960 2011 ISBN 9780062005960 HarperCollins Interview with Brinkley on The Quiet World, October 23, 2011
Cronkite 2012 ISBN 9780061374265 HarperCollins Walter Cronkite Q&A interview with Brinkley on Cronkite, June 3, 2012, C-SPAN,
Interview with Brinkley on Cronkite, September 22, 2012, C-SPAN,
Presentation by Brinkley on Cronkite, October 27, 2012, C-SPAN
Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America 2016 ISBN 9780062089236 HarperCollins Franklin D. Roosevelt, Civilian Conservation Corps Presentation by Brinkley on Rightful Heritage, March 12, 2016, C-SPAN,
Presentation by Brinkley on Rightful Heritage, September 24, 2016, C-SPAN
Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Stewart Udall, and the Environmental Movement, 1961-1964 TBD[32] TBD TBD
As editor
The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967 1997 ISBN 9780679406952 Villard Hunter S. Thompson ed. with Hunter S. Thompson
Fear and Loathing in America: the Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist, 1968-1976 2000 ISBN 9780684873152 Simon & Schuster Hunter S. Thompson ed. with Hunter S. Thompson
Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac, 1947-1954 2004 ISBN 9780670033416 Viking Press Jack Kerouac
The Reagan Diaries 2007 ISBN 9781616795580 HarperCollins Ronald Reagan Interview with Brinkley on The Reagan Diaries, April 27, 2007, C-SPAN,
Interview with Brinkley on The Reagan Diaries, June 9, 2007, C-SPAN
Jack Kerouac Road Novels 1957-1960 2007 ISBN 9781598530124 Library of America Jack Kerouac, On the Road, The Dharma Bums, The Subterraneans, Tristessa, Lonesome Traveler
The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972 2014 ISBN 9780544274150 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Nixon White House tapes Gaddis, John Lewis. "Book Review: 'The Nixon Tapes' by Douglas Brinkley and Luke A. Nichter." The Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2014. ed. with Luke A. Nichter
The Nixon Tapes: 1973 2015 ISBN 9780544610538 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Nixon White House tapes Frankel, Max. "‘The Nixon Tapes: 1973,’ Edited by Douglas Brinkley and Luke A. Nichter." The New York Times, Sunday Book Review, Oct. 19, 2015. ed. with Luke A. Nichter

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rice University https://history.rice.edu/faculty/douglas-brinkley.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Brinkley's page @ HarperCollins Publishers
  3. ^ Brinkley's author page and articles at American Heritage.
  4. ^ "Author, historian Douglas Brinkley to join Rice faculty" - By Franz Brotzen - Rice University - 17 May 2007
  5. ^ Tahree Lane (7 March 2009). "Historian Douglas Brinkley will speak at the Stranahan Theater". ToledoBlade.com. Retrieved 9 April 2016. 
  6. ^ Biography of Douglas Brinkley at the site for The Great Deluge (2006) Archived November 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Joy Stilley (23 May 1993). "Trip results in more than travel book". Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved 14 Feb 2011. 
  8. ^ Rolling Stone Profile of Kurt Vonnegut
  9. ^ Bob Dylan's America by Douglas Brinkley, Rolling Stone, Issue 1078, May 14, 2009.
  10. ^ "Going Upriver: Synopsis". Archived from the original on 1 October 2004. Retrieved 14 Feb 2011. 
  11. ^ Douglas Brinkley (December 2003). "Tour Of Duty". The Atlantic. 
  12. ^ Nancy Franklin, "Unnatural Disasters," The New Yorker, vol. 86, no. 25 (August 30, 2010), pp. 82-83.
  13. ^ "FX's 'American Crime Story': Season 2 Plan Revealed (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. January 6, 2016. 
  14. ^ Matthews, Chris (July 6, 2012). "And That's the Way It Was". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Johnny Depp Launches His Own Book Imprint". today.com. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  16. ^ Vega, Suzanne (January 26, 2013). "Suzanne Vega on House of Earth by Woody Guthrie". thetimes.co.uk. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Historian gets into it with Don Young during Congressional hearing". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. November 19, 2011. Archived from the original on June 1, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Douglas Brinkley and Rep. Don Young in committee hearing smackdown". The Washington Post. November 18, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Jobs and Drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge" video transcript, C-Span Video Library, congressional hearing, November 18, 2011, 1 hour 9 minutes.
  20. ^ Brinkley @ New York State Writers Institute - University at Albany, SUNY - Albany.edu Archived June 20, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ Douglas Brinkley curriculum vita Archived March 19, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ Patrick T. Reardon, "The New Past Master," Chicago Tribune, September 27, 2001
  23. ^ CNN "Piers Morgan", January 20, 2013
  24. ^ Wilfred M. McClay, "A Flood of Words on Katrina," The New York Sun, May 15, 2006, accessed June 25, 2012.
  25. ^ Bryson, Bill (8 October 2015). The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island (First ed.). London: Doubleday. pp. 170–171. ISBN 9780857522344. 
  26. ^ "Historian Brinkley wins Grammy". rice.edu. February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2017. 
  27. ^ Milne, Andrew (November 20, 2013). "Douglas Brinkley Wins the Sperber Award for "Cronkite"". fordhamobserver.com. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Winners of the 2009 National Outdoor Book Awards". ‘”National Outdoor Book Awards”. Retrieved April 8, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Hofstra University Announces 2012 Spring Commencement Activities and Speakers Sunday, May 20". hofstra.edu. May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  30. ^ Milne, Andrew (February 20, 2017). "LEH Humanities Award Recipients, 1985–2015" (PDF). leh.org. Retrieved Feb 20, 2017. 
  31. ^ Milne, Andrew (February 20, 2017). "The Stuart L. Berth Lecture Prize". shafr.org. Retrieved Feb 20, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Interview with Douglas Brinkley". audiofilemagazine.com. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 

External links[edit]