Skip to main content

Bruce Watson

Bruce Watson is a Contributing Editor of American Heritage and the author of the critically-acclaimed books Freedom Summer, Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, The Murders, and The Judgment of Mankind, and Bread and Roses. He writes a history blog at

Watson received a master's degree in American history from the University of Massachusetts, and worked as a journalist, an elementary school teacher, and a Peace Corps volunteer. He lives in Western Massachusetts. 

Photo: Julie Kumble / New York Times (2007)

Articles by this Contributor

In what many consider the greatest anti-slavery oration ever given, Frederick Douglass called for “the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake” Read >>
The annual Burning Man Festival in Black Rock City, Nevada, is a week-long binge of festive dress, radical inclusion and pyrotechnic display that has become a spiritual phenomenon. Read >>
In history’s long parade of military heroes, few can rival Sergeant Alvin C. York Read >>
After assassinating President Garfield, a lunatic gunman mounted an insanity defense, which the jury--and the nation--rejected despite compelling evidence to the contrary Read >>
Although marred by the grisly murders of three young activists, the Freedom Summer of 1964 brought revolutionary changes to Mississippi and the nation Read >>

"Web only stories" by this contributor

New York Mets players celebrate after winning the 1969 World Series. Photo Courtesy of Though neither the best nor the worst of times, 1969 was a year of miracles. Two moon landings. Techno-wonders — the first ATM and the first message over what would become the Internet. Woodstock drew a… Read more >>
Bruce Watson, a Contributing Editor of American Heritage, writes blogs for our website and his own at WOODSTOCK, NY — Thirty miles down the road, on a slope so green and sweeping that it looked like God’s own amphitheater, the crowds poured in a half century ago. But the human… Read more >>
Bruce Watson, a Contributing Editor of American Heritage, writes blogs for our website and his own at Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to Congress. The drums of war were sounding when, in March 1917, Jeannette Rankin arrived in Washington DC.  As the first woman to serve… Read more >>
Bruce Watson is a historian and biographer, and author of seven books and an online magazine, The Attic. With this post, Bruce begins a featured blog for American Heritage. In his inaugural essay, he profiles humorist Robert Benchley (1889-1945), a frequent writer for The New Yorker and Vanity Fair… Read more >>