John F. Marszalek (1939–) Biography
Personal, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Work in Progress, Sidelights
Born 1939, in Buffalo, NY; Ethnicity: "Polish-American." Education: Canisius College, B.A., 1961; University of Notre Dame, M.A., 1963, Ph. D., 1968. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Roman Catholic.
Writer and educator. Canisius College, Buffalo, NY, instructor in history, 1967–68; Gannon University, Erie, PA, assistant professor, then associate professor of his-tory, 1968–73; Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, associate professor, 1973–80, professor, 1980–94, Giles distinguished professor of history, 1994–2002, then emeritus, 2002–, director and mentor of distinguished scholars, 2004–. Military service: U.S. Army, 1965–67; attained rank of captain; served in Vietnam.
Organization of American Historians, Southern Historical Association, Mississippi Historical Society, Society of Civil War Historians, Historians of the Civil War Western Theatre.
Richard Wright Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement; Distinguished Alumnus, Canisius College, 1999; Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, 2002; B.L.C. Wailes AWard for National Distinction in the Field of History; Mississippi Historical Society, 2004.
Court-Martial; A Black Man in America, Scribner (New York, NY), 1972, published with new afterword as Assault at West Point: The Court-Martial of Johnson Whittaker, Collier Books (New York, NY), 1994.
(With Sadye H. Wier) A Black Businessman in White Mississippi, 1886–1974, University Press of Mississippi (Jackson, MS), 1977.
The Diary of Miss Emma Holmes, 1861–1866, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1979, published with new preface, 1994.
Sherman's Other War: The General and the Civil War Press, Memphis State University Press (Memphis, TN), 1981, revised edition, Kent State University Press (Kent, OH), 1999.
(With Douglas L. Conner) A Black Physician's Story: Bringing Hope in Mississippi, University Press of Mississippi (Jackson, MS), 1985.
Grover Cleveland: A Bibliography, foreword by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Meckler (Westport, CT), 1988.
(Editor with Charles D. Lowery) Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights: From Emancipation to the Present, Greenwood Press (New York, NY), 1992, expanded as The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights: From Emancipation to the Twenty-first Century, 2 volumes, 2004.
Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order, Free Press (New York, NY), 1993.
(Editor with Wilson D. Miscamble) American Political History: Essays on the State of the Discipline, University of Notre Dame Press (Notre Dame, IN), 1997.
The Petticoat Affair: Manners, Mutiny, and Sex in Andrew Jackson's White House, Free Press (New York, NY), 1997.
The Civil War in the Western Theater, Mississippi State University Department of History (Mississippi State, MS), 2001.
Commander of All Lincoln's Armies: A Life of General Henry W. Halleck, Belknap Press of Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), 2004.
(Author of introduction) Samuel W. Hankins, Simple Story of a Solider, new edition, University of Alabama Press (Tuscaloosa, AL), 2004.
Sherman's March to the Sea, Grace McWhiney Foundation Press (Abilene, TX), 2005.
Court-Martial was adapted as the television film Assault at West Point, 1994.
Work in Progress
Battling Discrimination in the Age of Jim Crow: A Life of South Carolina Black Congressman George W. Murray; Civil War in the Western Theatre, expected, 2009.
John F. Marszalek told SATA: "I do not remember how old I was, but my first exposure to the world of books came when my mother took me by the hand and we walked into a branch library in Buffalo, New York. There were people of all ages sitting and reading, and I was immediately struck by the huge number of books which seemed to be everywhere. It was in fact a small room, but to me at that early age it was enormous. I frequently went back to that library on my own for story hours and once I remember getting in trouble with my parents for not telling them that I was going there.
"In fifth grade, my family moved to the suburbs of Buffalo, to an area where there was no library. My school, in fact, consisted of only four rooms, two grades per room. It had no school library, but every week or two the mobile library truck came and we excitedly climbed aboard to find books to read. I was stuck on sports books, eventually reading every book on the topic on the truck. I remember thinking that books had to be important—how else could one explain this marvelous visiting truck full of them.
"My high school, the Jesuit Canisius High School in Buffalo, had as its library a grand ball room with chandeliers and high ceilings. I joined the library club so I could be there, once again impressed both by the setting and the books themselves.
"When I attended Canisius College and later went to graduate school at the University of Notre Dame, I was exposed to professors who not only read vociferously but actually wrote books themselves. I had to write papers for every course, and the magnificent circular building that served as the research library for the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library and the multistoried Notre Dame Library became second homes. I was hooked. My life was gong to center on research, writing, and publishing books. And I have been lucky. That is what happened. As I write this essay, right at my elbow is the library my wife and I put into our Mississippi home. It is full of history books in my areas of interest, but on the bottom shelf are children's books—for visiting grandchildren but also as a memorial to that first day my mother took me to that small library in Buffalo."
Biographical and Critical Sources
American Historical Review, December, 1998, John M. Belohlavek, review of The Petticoat Affair: Manners, Mutiny, and Sex in Andrew Jackson's White House, p. 1694.
Booklist, June 1, 2004, review of The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights: From Emancipation to the Twenty-first Century, p. 1789.
Choice, July-August, 2004, L.K. Speer, review of The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights, p. 2026.
Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 1998, review of The Petticoat Affair, p. 17.
Civil War History, December, 1998, Kenneth R. Stevens, review of The Petticoat Affair, p. 292.
History: Review of New Books, fall, 1998, Gary J. Tocchet, review of American Political History: Essays on the State of the Discipline, p. 5.
Journal of American History, December, 1982; June, 1994, pp. 282; December, 1998, Elizabeth R. Varon, review of The Petticoat Affair, p. 1061; December, 2006, Paul D. Casdorph, review of Commander of All Lincoln's Armies: A Life of General Henry W. Halleck, p. 994.
Journal of Southern History, August, 1999, Joel H. Silbey, review of American Political History, p. 679.
Library Journal, January, 1998, Stephen G. Weismar, review of The Petticoat Affair, p. 116; October 1, 2004, David Lee Poremba, review of Commander of All Lincoln's Armies, p. 91.
Reviews in American History, December, 1997, Donald A. Ritchie, review of American Political History, p. 698; December, 1998, Norma Basch, review of The Petticoat Affair, p. 687.
School Library Journal, October, 2004, Julie Webb, review of The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African-American Civil Rights, p. 95.
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