About the Author

I’m a Senior Lecturer on Social Studies, and Faculty Associate, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. What does this mean? It means that I am something less than tenured faculty and somewhat more than adjunct–a historian with voting rights and presumptive continuity teaching in an interdisciplinary undergraduate honors concentration with sociologists, anthropologists, political theorists, philosophers, and sometimes economists. Stimulating to say the least.


My family on an Island in the middle of Lake Kivu, Rwanda

An intellectual historian by training, I’m the author of The Lost Promise of Patriotism: Debating American Identity, 1890-1920 (Chicago, 2003) and Guantanamo: An American History (Hill and Wang, 2011), along with articles, op-eds, and book reviews on U.S. imperialism, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and race and ethnicity, to name a few. I am currently working on Young Castro, a biography of Fidel Castro (up to 1959) to be published by Simon & Schuster.

I live in Belmont, MA, with my wife Anne, a physician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and our three children: Oliver, Julian, and Nathalie. In recent years, we’ve become deeply attached to Rwanda, where we spent the summer of 2010, and where Anne is helping to develop national protocols on maternal and child health. The problem of peace and reconciliation in Rwanda has informed my own work and teaching in Social Studies and more recently at Harvard Law School.

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