James M. McPherson (b. 1936)

American Civil War historian. Born in Valley City, North Dakota, McPherson earned his B.A. at Gustavus Adolphus College and in 1958 his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. McPherson has published nineteen historical works about the war and its era, some scholarly, some written for a more general readership. His Battle Cry of Freedom (1989) won a Pulitzer Prize and is regarded by many as the best one-volume history of the Civil War. Other books include Marching toward Freedom: The Negro in the Civil War, 1861–1865 (1968), Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction (1982, 1992, 2001, 2009), For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (1997), and Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief (2008). A professor emeritus at Princeton University, McPherson was the first recipient of the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for lifetime achievement in military history. See also neh.gov.