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Brooks D. Simpson

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Brooks D. Simpson

Brooks Donohue Simpson, an American historian, is ASU Foundation Professor of History at Arizona State University. He was born August 4, 1957, in Freeport, New York. Educated at the Phillips Exeter Academy, he graduated in 1975; four years later he graduated from the University of Virginia. Receiving his M.A. in history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1982, he earned his Ph.D. in 1989.

After working three years as an assistant editor for The Papers of Andrew Johnson, based at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Simpson joined the faculty at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in 1987. Three years later, in 1990, he migrated west to Arizona State University, where he presently teaches. Currently he divides his time between Barrett, The Honors College at ASU and the College of Letters and Sciences.

Simpson is the author of six books, the coauthor of two more, and the editor or coeditor of eight other books. He is perhaps best known for his work on Ulysses S. Grant. Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity, 1822-1865, published by Houghton Mifflin in 2000, was a New York Times Notable Book and a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for that year [1]. He has appeared several times on C-SPAN, speaking on Henry Adams [2] and Grant [3], as well as on PBS's American Experience [4]. In 2009 the U. S. State Department asked him to travel to Turkey for two weeks to lecture on Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama in historical context. After serving four years as one of the contributors to the prize-winning "Civil Warriors" blog, [5] in late 2010 Simpson started his own blog, "Crossroads." [6]

Honors and awards

  • NEH Travel to Collections Award, 1990;
  • Huntington Library Fellow, 1991;
  • Newberry Library Fellow, 1991;
  • American Philosophical Society Grant, 1991;
  • Dirksen Congressional Research Center Grant, 1991;
  • Father Smith Lecturer, Gonzaga University, 1994;
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 1994;
  • Fulbright Scholarship, Leiden University, 1995;
  • Interdisciplinary Fellow, ASU, 1998;
  • ASU Alumni Faculty Research Award, 2003.


  • Advice After Appomattox: Letters to Andrew Johnson, 1865-1866. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987. With LeRoy P. Graf and John Muldowny.
  • Let Us Have Peace: Ulysses S. Grant and the Politics of War and Reconstruction, 1861-1868. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991. Paperback edition, 1997.
  • The Political Education of Henry Adams. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996.
  • America's Civil War. Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1996.
  • Union and Emancipation: Essays on Race and Politics in the Civil War Era. Kent: Kent State University Press, 1997. With David W. Blight.
  • Think Anew, Act Anew: Abraham Lincoln on Slavery, Emancipation, and Reconstruction. Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1998.
  • The Reconstruction Presidents. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998. Paperback edition, 2009.
  • Sherman's Civil War: Selected Correspondence of William T. Sherman, 1860-1865. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999. With Jean V. Berlin.
  • Gettysburg: A Battlefield Guide. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999. With Mark Grimsley.
  • Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity, 1822-1865. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
  • Collapse of the Confederacy. Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 2001. Paperback edition, 2002. With Mark Grimsley.
  • The Civil War: The First Year in the Words of Those Who Lived It. New York: Library of America, 2011. With Stephen W. Sears and Aaron Sheehan-Dean.
  • The Civil War in the East: Struggle, Stalemate, and Victory. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2011.
  • Victors in Blue: How Union Generals Fought the Confederates, Battled Each Other, and Won the Civil War. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2011. With Albert Castel.
  • The Civil War: The Third Year in the Words of Those Who Lived It. New York: Library of America, 2013.


  • Made ASU President Michael Crow and Barrett Dean Mark Jacobs "wet" from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
  • instills halo knowledge in his youngest daughter.
  • Teaches HON 370- History of Ideas at the Barrett College of ASU. Claims he teaches a class of serial killers based on Henry V's decisions.
  • He loves his flamboyant ties.
  • Wanted to be a sport player (baseball or hockey).
  • His book was featured in the show House of Cards.
  • Has a smile that can pierce the heavens with his pearly teeth.
  • His mother in law almost got run over by a car in Spain.
  • Was contacted by the highly watched show Pawn stars but rejected because he doesn't care about money and cares about his virtue and honor.
  • Loves the Yankees
  • His secret goal is to be in the show Dancing with the stars.
  • He is not easily bribed by chocolate.

External links

  • Crossroads Blog currently edited by Brooks Simpson.
  • , July 16, 2000.Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity, 1822-1865 interview with Simpson on Booknotes
  • Barrett, The Honors College at ASU.
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