Wilfred M. McClay is the G. T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma and the Director of the Center for the History of Liberty. His book The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America was awarded the 1995 Merle Curti Award of the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American intellectual history. Among his other books are A Student's Guide to U.S. History, Religion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in America, Figures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American Past, and Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America. He was appointed in 2002 to membership on the National Council on the Humanities, the advisory board for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and served in that capacity for eleven years. He is a member of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, which is planning events for the nation's 250th anniversary in 2026. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Academy of Education. He is a graduate of St. John's College (Annapolis) and received his PhD in History from the Johns Hopkins University. John McBride was educated at Rice University (BA 1968, MA 1971) and the University of Virginia (PhD 1977). He taught high school (mostly US History AP) in Chattanooga TN from 1974 to 2010, at the Baylor School and David Brainerd Christian School. He has also taught as an adjunct for the past 25 years at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, in political science and in history. For the past six years he has taught (as a volunteer and most recently as an adjunct for Georgia State University) at Walker State Prison, which is Georgia's character-and-faith-based prison. He enjoys employing a wide variety of teaching methods, including games, trivium-style debates, and group projects.
Praise for Land of Hope: At a time of severe partisanship that has infected many accounts of our nation's past, this brilliant new history, Land of Hope, written in lucid and often lyrical prose, is much needed. It is accurate, honest, and free of the unhistorical condescension so often paid to the people of America's past. This generous but not uncritical story of our nation's history ought to be read by every American. It explains and justifies the right kind of patriotism. - Gordon S. Wood, author of Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson Those who are acquainted with Wilfred McClay's writing will not be surprised that Land of Hope, his latest book, is a lucid and engaging account of the 'great American story.' McClay is a charming storyteller-and a first-rate scholar and appreciator of America's political and cultural development. - Michael Barone, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, senior political analyst at the Washington Examiner, and coauthor of The Almanac of American Politics We've long needed a readable text that truly tells the American story, neither hiding the serious injustices in our history nor soft-pedaling our nation's extraordinary achievements. Such a text cannot be a mere compilation of facts, and it certainly could not be written by someone lacking a deep understanding and appreciation of America's constitutional ideals and institutions. Bringing his impressive skills as a political theorist, historian, and writer to bear, Wilfred McClay has supplied the need. - Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University In a time when America seems pulled in opposite directions, Wilfred McClay has written a necessary book-the most balanced, nuanced history of the United States I have read in the past fifty years. - Daniel Henninger, deputy editor, editorial page, The Wall Street Journal Too many recent historians have tried to rewrite America's history as a tale of squalor and exploitation. Wilfred McClay tells it like it is: as a story of hope. - Glenn Harlan Reynolds, Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Tennessee No one has told the story of America with greater balance or better prose than Wilfred McClay. Land of Hope is a history book that you will not be able to put down. From the moment that 'natives' first crossed here over the Bering Strait, to the founding of America's great experiment in republican government, to the horror and triumph of the Civil War, and to the stirring election of Barack Obama, McClay's account will capture your attention while offering an unforgettable education. - James W. Ceaser, Professor of Politics, University of Virginia I wish Land of Hope had been there when I was teaching U.S. history. It is history as literature-broad, detailed, compassionate-and it can help anyone who wants to know where we came from and how we got here. Professor McClay has made a welcome gift to the history of our country. - Will Fitzhugh, Founder, The Concord Review