James M. Banner, Jr. holds a B.A. from Yale and a Ph.D. from Columbia, where he studied with Richard Hofstadter. He was a member of the history department of Princeton University from 1966 to 1980, which he left to found the American Association for the Advancement of the Humanities.
Banner is a former Guggenheim Fellow, fellow of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard, member of the board of directors of the American Council of Learned Societies, and Fulbright Visiting Professor of American History at Charles University, Prague.
He is the author of many books and articles in American history, education, and public affairs. They include To the Hartford Convention: The Federalists and the Origins of Party Politics in Massachusetts, 1789-1815 (Knopf, 1969); with James M. McPherson et al., Blacks in America: Bibliographical Essays (Doubleday: 1971); with F. Sheldon Hackney and Barton J. Bernstein, Understanding the American Experience (2 vols; Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973); with Harold C. Cannon, The Elements of Teaching and The Elements of Learning (Yale University Press, 1997 and 1999); ed. with John R. Gillis, Becoming Historians (University of Chicago Press, 2009); ed. A Century of American Historiography (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009); and, most recently, Being a Historian: An Introduction to the Professional World of History (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
He is currently writing a book on revisionist history tentatively entitled “Battles Over the Past: Revisionist History—What It Is, Why We Have It” and hoping for a production of a play, “Good and Faithful Servants,” drawn from the correspondence between John and Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
Banner was a co-founder, with Joyce Appleby, of the History News Service and the moving spirit behind the National History Center.