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Richard Striner

Professor of History

Richard Striner is a writer and historian whose books and articles have covered political and presidential history, literature, economics, film, architecture, and historic preservation.

An independent thinker with eclectic interests, he is proud to be considered a maverick and encourages his students to “think outside the box.”

Dr. Striner has established himself as an expert on presidential power, especially the political life and presidency of Abraham Lincoln, the subject of three of his four books. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times “Opinionator” blog and its “Disunion” series on the Civil War.  

At Washington College he teaches American history survey courses, upper-level courses in American history from the Civil War through World War II, and several courses that use films as historical documents. He is known for his engaging lectures and elegantly retro wardrobe.


Lincoln and Race, Southern Illinois University Press, 2012.

Supernatural Romance in Film:  Tales of Love, Death, and the Afterlife, McFarland & Company, 2011.

Lincoln’s Way:  How Six Great Presidents Created American Power, Rowman & Littlefield, 2010.

Father Abraham:  Lincoln’s Relentless Struggle to End Slavery, Oxford University Press, 2006.


Policy Articles

“Bring Back The Greenback:  How To Pay For What We Need,” cover article for The American Scholar, Winter 2012/13

“Time for the Jobless to March on Washington,” CNN.COM, August 20, 2011.


Essays for the “Disunion” series in the New York Times’ Opinionator Blog


The Radicalism of Lincoln’s 10 Percent Plan,” December 12, 2013 

“Hurrah for Old Abe,” January 29, 2013.

“Lincoln’s Great Gamble,” September 21, 2012. 

“Lincoln’s Plan Emerges,” July 23, 2012.

“Lincoln’s Abolitionist Wedge,” April 11, 2012.

“Abraham Lincoln’s Audacious Plan,” January 5, 2012.

“Lincoln Addresses the Nation,” March 3. 2011.

“How Lincoln Undid the Union,” December 13, 2010.


Writing on History News Network

“Whatever Happened to Good Old-Fashioned Customer Service?”  August 6, 2012.

“Too Many Monsters in Our Closet,” July 30, 2012.

“Was the Economic Miracle of World War II Fact or Fiction?”  May 14, 2012.

“Why the Left Needs its Koch Brothers,” August 21, 2011. 

“The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party,” October 11, 2010.

“How Lincoln Might Fix Our Economic Mess,” December 1, 2008.

“Wartime Leadership:  The First Republican President Versus the Latest,” March 13, 2006.


Radio Appearances

Talk of the Nation: “Emancipation Proclamation a ‘Huge’ Risk,”  with Neal Conan, NPR, September 24, 2012.

“The Mid-Day Show,” with Dan Rodricks, WYPR Baltimore.

January 28, 2013, “Emancipation Proclamation.”

January 3, 2012, “How to shock the U.S. economy back to life.”

October 31, 2011, “Supernatural Romance in Film.”


B.A., American University, 1972 M.A., University of Maryland, 1975 Ph.D., University of Maryland, 1982

Research Spotlight