DANBURY, CT – Historian and American Constitutional scholar Dr. Kevin R.C. Gutzman is dedicated to his subject matter. So much so that when he’s not teaching one of several American History courses at Western Connecticut State University, he’s either researching, writing about or discussing the founding of America. Apparently, his enthusiasm is contagious because this week marks the release of his sixth and most highly anticipated book, “The Jeffersonians: The Visionary Presidencies of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe” (St. Martin’s Press, 2022).
A five-year endeavor to write, Gutzman believes it may be his “best book yet.” The accolades he’s received in advance of its official release date, which was Tuesday, Dec. 13, would indicate fellow scholars and historians agree.
In September, “The Jeffersonians” received a rare, starred review from KIRKUS: “Before Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, America’s only consecutive trio of two-term presidents were Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, a fact of no significance except to trivia buffs, but that earlier ‘Virginia dynasty’ has proved irresistible to scholars. History professor Gutzman, who has written biographies of both Jefferson and Madison, describes their administrations, which extended from 1801 to 1825, a period during which Jefferson’s Republican Party (radical for the time) drove the Washington-inspired Federalists to extinction, governed a one-party nation for a few years, and then retreated as a more numerous and democratic electorate came to dominate. … Political histories are rarely page-turners, but Gutzman, clearly a scholar who has read everything on his subjects, writes lively prose and displays a refreshingly opinionated eye for a huge cast of characters and their often unfortunate actions.”
October saw a positive mention of Gutzman’s book in The New Yorker: Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, “How Samuel Adams Helped Ferment a Revolution,” October 24, 2022.
In November, Amazon.com named “The Jeffersonians” one of its Best Books of the Month in the Memoirs & Biographies and History categories, and it is an Amazon #1 Bestseller in War of 1812 History. “The Jeffersonians” was listed among the five “books to remember in 2022” by USA today last week, and the History Book Club has named it the Main Selection for January 2023.
Gutzman has been interviewed about the book by the U.S. Military Academy’s resident Jefferson expert, West Point Professor Dr. Robert McDonald, for the National Archives’ online interview series. He’s also discussed the book with podcaster Tom Woods, and a review will soon be forthcoming in the Wall Street Journal and other national publications.
“Writing is a ton of work,” Gutzman said, “but I really enjoy it.” In fact, Gutzman shares the story of being a practicing lawyer who couldn’t wait until his lunch hour so he could read history books. “I went back to graduate school after law school for a Ph.D. in History because I like it,” he said.
All of the books he’s written have built upon each other, Gutzman explained, and there’s nothing he enjoys more than doing radio, television, print and podcast interviews where he encounters people who are interested in the subject and what he’s writing about. No stranger to literary success, Gutzman’s first book spent several weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list in 2007.
In addition to amazon.com, “The Jeffersonians” is available locally at Byrd’s Books in Bethel, and will soon be in stock at Danbury’s Barnes & Noble and the Bethel Target. For those who would rather listen than read, the audio book version will be released in February 2023 by MacMillan.
Gutzman’s other books include “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution” (Regnery Publishing, 2006); “Virginia’s American Revolution From Dominion to Republic, 1776-1840” (Lexington Books, 2007); “Who Killed the Constitution? The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush” with coauthor Thomas E. Woods(Crown Forum, 2008); “James Madison and the Making of America” (St. Martin’s Press, 2012); and “Thomas Jefferson Revolutionary: A Radical’s Struggle to Remake America” (St. Martin’s Press, 2017).
He also has chapters published in the following: “James Madison and the Ratification of the Constitution: A Triumph over Adversity,” in “A Companion to James Madison and James Monroe,” ed. Stuart Leibiger (Malden, Massachusetts: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012); “Lincoln as Jeffersonian: The Colonization Chimera,” in “Lincoln Emancipated: The President and the Politics of Race,” ed. Brian Dirck (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2007); Foreword to “Anthony Gregory, The Power of Habeas Corpus in America: From the King’s Prerogative to the War on Terror” (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
Gutzman earned a Ph.D. in History, University of Virginia, 1999; J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 1990; Master of Public Affairs, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, 1990; M.A. in History, University of Virginia, 1994; and a B.A. in Plan II/History Honors, With Honors and with Special Honors in History, University of Texas, 1985.
For more information, send an email to Dr. Kevin Gutzman at firstname.lastname@example.org or WCSU Public Relations at email@example.com.