Robert Davis

Robert Scott "Bob" Davis is director of the Family and Regional History Program, Wallace State Community College, Hanceville, Alabama. His program pioneers local and family history research in a college environment. He holds a Master of Education degree in history from the University of North Georgia and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Mr. Davis is also a graduate of the Institute of Documentary Editing of the National Historical Records Publications Commission.

His more than 1,000 publications on records and research include a number of books and more than 100 articles and reviews in professional historical, library, education, and archival journals, including Prologue: The Quarterly of the National Archives, Gulf States Historical Review, Journal of African-American History, Agricultural History, The Journal of Military History, Documentary Editing, The Journal of Southern Legal History, The Alabama Review, Georgia Historical Quarterly, and The South Carolina Historical Magazine. Robert S. Davis has been quoted in Time, Smithsonian, CNN, NPR, NBC, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. He has personally researched in all of the major libraries and archives of the United States and Great Britain.

In Alabama and Georgia, Mr. Davis has worked to raise public awareness on saving local government records and has been a member of the Alabama governor’s historical records commission. He has been the guest speaker at hundreds of meetings of civic, genealogical, and historical organizations. In 2006, the American Association for State and Local History awarded the program that he has built up with its Outstanding Leadership in History Award of Merit. He received the same award in 2007 for his book Ghosts and Shadows of Andersonville.

Book Reviews by Robert Davis

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"In The Lost Founding Father Cooper speaks to our times on national best interest in opposition to partisan politics."

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“What better way could one take a journey in an easy chair?”

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"Prevas intimately knows the battlefields, mountains, and rivers; he takes the reader on a sort of travelogue as well as telling a great immortal story."

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"Death of Assassin is an entertaining look at very human characters in a world on the edge of radical change."

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"This book is an engrossing adventure about the rise of midwest America."

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The blood soaked epic rise of the Tudors from powerful family to self-made royalty is one of the great political dramas in history.

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The Jersey Brothers demonstrates that a well-told story is just that, whatever its genre.”

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“Tremlett writes so well as to make this read almost as entertaining as a traditional Spanish novel but with thorough balanced scholarship.”

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"are buildings extensions of us . . . or are we extensions of them?"

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A Mind to Stay is a revealing history of much of the otherwise lost reality of thousands of plantations that lack documentation.”

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“A dramatic read, this work expounds in detail on critically important parts of American history that tragically have gone forgotten and unlearned.”

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An Iron Wind is a thoroughly worked example of social history at its most valuable.

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“This book is all about ideas and, in its compact narrative, does not bog down a great story with too much detail.”

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Local history can be rich, exotic, complicated, personal, and dark but especially when an incident like the Scopes Monkey Trial serves as an “island” in regional and national social currents.

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The media has a hard time, even in documentaries, of presenting factually accurate history and especially so with movies.

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Pioneer CIA director and espionage historian Allen Dulles famously wrote that more spy craft commonly went on in any Italian city state in the Renaissance than in the whole of the relatively modern

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“For Monro’s discussion of the value of paper and ink in education, information, and learning The Paper Trail is a good read.”

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“will surely be a classic on its subject and a lot of fun for the lovers of good narrative built on well-researched military history.”

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As Peter Frankopan writes in The Silk Roads (reviewed in NYJB), islands are important for several reasons.

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Many scholars dream of writing The Great Book on the determinism of the past. A challenge is to write it for a popular audience while retaining the excitement of narrative history.

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SPQR is a not always strictly chronological study of important parts of the history of the Roman Republic and Empire to 212 CE.

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Enough books appear on individual race-hatred-based lynching in the South to constitute a genre.

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Henry Clay lived in an age when he could rise from a log schoolhouse to be perhaps not, as the author claims, America's greatest statesman but undoubtedly one of its major historical figures.

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Karl Rove is famous for his role in modern political campaigns.

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Genghis Khan (1162–1227) took a collection of dysfunctional Mongolian tribes and created a nation of language, literacy, and law set up to continue conquering after his death.

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Anghiari was a minor battle on June 29, 1440, in a series of otherwise all too common Florentine defeats as this commune spiraled toward the bottom in the years of the Italian Renaissance.

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Morgens Trolle Larsen’s Ancient Kanesh: A Merchant Colony in Bronze Age Anatolia tells the history of the exploration of a city “of the first attested commercial society in world history”

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Cultures around the world celebrate the concept of living to achieve a good death. A writer can have a life that makes for as engrossing a story as any tale he or she could invent.

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One of the hallmarks of modern communication is the glossy, well-illustrated general science based histories of the origins of our species.

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In recent years several writers have discovered the forgotten, ignored, or lost early maritime history of the United States.

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The last couple of decades have seen a steady stream of fully documented, honest, readable, and scholarly single works on American slavery.

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History as documented through the image has a short historiography. Until recently, even the nobility lacked multiple images or sometimes any likeness at all.

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“carefully crafted, readable, honest, and concise work.”

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Every corner of the world is now seemingly explored, mapped, photographed, and available for visiting on the Internet.

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Libraries, books, writing, and writers as subjects are fascinating, even collectively.

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Americans remember George Washington for a great many things but not as one of the great lights among the intellectuals of the Enlightenment era and the American Revolution.

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Napoleon: a Life is an epic biography by a popular writer who has done the “on the ground work” needed to make the latest of the thousands of biographies of Napoleon something new.

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In the 2000 movie Running Mates (2000), Faye Dunaway's character observes that the only thing anyone ever named for a first lady was a rehab center. Louisa Catherine Johnson (Mrs.

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One standard for a good book is that it could be a reference for other good books.

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Swindler, serial bigamist, jail bird, theatrical promoter, and alleged spy for Abraham Lincoln, William Alvin Lloyd (1822–1869) was a man representative of the worst of his times, as the authors in

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“Seyler conveys excitement and adventure from a lost story of a pioneer explorer of the Middle East.”

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“good storytelling built on solid scholarship . . .”

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One of the great pities of our time is that we live in a golden age of readable but also solid academic credible studies of Roman and Medieval history for a popular audience.

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“This highly readable book never lacks for the big story but it also does not let that history lose the hero.”

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“. . . in this felucca voyage of the Nile, you see all of its history and you are constantly reminded that Egypt is also a living nation of today.”

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“The Hollywood stereotype of the 19th century war correspondent, or any newspaperman of that period, was a young single white male with a penchant for alcohol and a dream of writing the gre

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A Death in San Pietro is a blood and mud soldier’s eye view of a pointless messy slaughter than too often defines war.”