Joseph J. Ellis is the Ford Foundation Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College. Educated at the College of William and Mary and Yale University, he served as a captain in the army and taught at West Point before coming to Mount Holyoke in 1972. He was dean of the faculty there for ten years.
He is the author of five previous books: The New England Mind in Transition; School for Soldiers: West Point and the Profession of Arms (with Robert Moore); After the Revolution: Profiles of Early American Culture; Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams; and American Sphinx, which won the 1997 National Book Award.
He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with his wife, Ellen, and their three sons.