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Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Director and Mentor of Distinguished Scholars
Executive Director and Managing Editor, Ulysses S. Grant Association
Mitchell Memorial Library
Mississippi State University
Box 5408, Mississippi State, MS 39762
A graduate of Buffalo's Canisius College and the University of Notre Dame, JOHN F. MARSZALEK, Ph.D. taught for five years at Gannon University in Erie, PA. before coming to Mississippi State University in 1973 where he became a W. L. Giles Distinguished Professor of History in 1994, retiring as Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 2002. A specialist in the U. S. Civil War, the Jacksonian Period, and race relations, he is the author or editor of thirteen books and over 300 articles and book reviews. He has lectured widely throughout the nation and has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC Television, the Arts and Entertainment Television Network, C-SPAN, C-SPAN 2, Showtime Television, the History Channel, the Voice of America, Mississippi Public Radio, and radio stations throughout the nation. During his teaching career, he taught freshmen survey classes, undergraduate and graduate courses in American history, and has produced over 20 masters and doctoral students. He has been the Mentor for the Distinguished Scholars, the holders of Mississippi State University's most prestigious undergraduate scholarships for ten years. He is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, and, in 1999 Canisius College named him a distinguished alumnus. In 2002, the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration awarded him the Richard Wright Literary Award (life-time achievement by a Mississippi author). In 2004, the Mississippi Historical Society presented him with its highest award, the B.L.C. Wailes Award for national distinction in history. He is executive director and managing editor of the Ulysses S. Grant Association, co-executive director of the Historians of the Civil War Western Theater, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Lincoln Forum, the Lincoln Prize, and the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. From 2007-2008, he served as president of the Mississippi Historical Society. He and his wife have established Library Fund endowments at Mississippi State University and Canisius College.
He is best known for his award winning books: Sherman, A Soldier's Passion for Order (1993), a finalist for the Lincoln Prize and winner of non-fiction prizes from the Ohioiana Library Association and the Mississippi Library Association; and The Petticoat Affair: Manners, Mutiny, and Sex in Andrew Jackson's White House (1998), winner of the Southeastern Library Association Non-Fiction prize. Both were History Book Club selections. His first book, Court Martial (1972), was made into a Showtime motion picture and reissued as a paperback, both under the new title Assault at West Point (1994). In 1995, President Bill Clinton presented Johnson C. Whittaker, the subject of this book, a posthumous U. S. Army commission in a White House ceremony. Marszalek co-edited (with Charles D. Lowery) The Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights (1992), named by the Library Journal as one of the best reference books published in 1992 (and republished in 2003 in revised two volume form as The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Civil Rights. In 1994, The Diary of Miss Emma Holmes, 1861-1866 was reissued in paperback, and in 1999 Sherman's Other War: The General and the Civil War Press was similarly republished. His book Commander of All Lincoln's Armies, A Life of General Henry W. Halleck (2004) was a History Book Club selection and a finalist for the 2005 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship. Sherman's March to the Sea was published in 2005. His latest publication, A Black Congressman in the Age of Jim Crow, South Carolina's George Washington Murray, appeared in 2006.
His publications have been the subject of major news stories in national newspapers including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and USA Today.
A U.S. Army Vietnam veteran, Marszalek is married to the former Jeanne Kozmer, and they are the parents of three grown sons and have four grandchildren.