I graduated with a double major in English and History from UCLA and then read Greats (Greek and Latin language and literature) at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where I took an Upper Second. Since 1990 I have written professionally, first as an educational reference writer and then on my own.

The overarching theme that connects my books and articles is the so-called “clash of faith and reason” and how it has played out in history. I find that issues around faith and reason have been widely misunderstood by believers and non-believers alike, and that ideas like God and faith—even belief itself—need to be rebuilt from the ground up. My interest in writing systems, and my current trade book project on the alphabet and the rise of abstract thinking, grew out of these investigations. If that arouses your curiosity, all the better.

In 1998 I moved from Los Angeles back to the region where I grew up, the Champlain Valley of northern New York State, which borders the Adirondack Mountains. It's a beautiful, rugged, rural area. I live in the country, on the shore of Lake Champlain, and I love to hike, climb, bike, cross-country ski, snowshoe, or just walk up the road a bit. During the school year I work at the after-school program here in town. I also serve as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. For more than a decade now, I’ve been a well-fed member of Essex Farm, a thumping great CSA (and literary landmark) nearby where I get my food each week.

I give frequent talks about my writing and will be happy to entertain your invitation.

A Brief History of History

A Brief History of History

Great Historians and the Epic Quest to Explain the Past

The Lyons Press
$27.95 hardcover (352p)
ISBN 978-1-59921-122-0

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Sailing from Byzantium

Sailing from Byzantium

How a Lost Empire Shaped the World

Delacorte, $22 hardcover (368p)
ISBN 0-553-80381-6

Delta, $14 paperback (368p)
ISBN 0-553-38273-0

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