Brinkley in 2007
|Born||December 14, 1960|
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Douglas Brinkley (born December 14, 1960) is an American author, Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and professor of history at Rice University. Brinkley is the history commentator for CNN, and a contributing editor to the magazine Vanity Fair. He is a public spokesperson on conservation issues. He joined the faculty of Rice University as a professor of history in 2007.
Brinkley was educated at Perrysburg High School,, followed by The 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.
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."
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). His second was Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years (1992). 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).
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. Brinkley also wrote the Atlantic Monthly cover story of December 2003 on Kerry.
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."
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. He also co-edited with Johnny Depp the long lost novel of Woody Guthrie titled House of Earth.
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.
Stephen Ambrose, Brinkley's mentor at the University of New Orleans, called Brinkley "the best of the new generation of American historians." Brinkley and Ambrose had co-authored three books. Patrick Reardon of the Chicago Tribune called Brinkley America's "new past master." 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." 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." 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".
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.
|Title||Year||ISBN||Publisher||Subject matter||Interviews, presentations, and reviews||Comments|
|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
|American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race||2019||ISBN 9780062655066||HarperCollins||Space Race||Q&A interview with Brinkley on American Moonshot, April 7, 2019|
|Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Stewart Udall, and the Environmental Movement, 1961-1964||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|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|
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