H.W. Brands Biography
Brands was born in Portland, Oregon, where he lived
until he went to California for college. He attended
Stanford University and studied history and mathematics.
After graduating he became a traveling salesman, with a
territory that spanned the West from the Pacific to
Colorado. His wanderlust diminished after several trips
across the Great Basin, and he turned to sales of a
different sort, namely teaching. For nine years he
taught mathematics and history in high school and
community college. Meanwhile he resumed his formal
education, earning graduate degrees in mathematics and
history, concluding with a doctorate in history from the
University of Texas at Austin.
He worked as an oral historian at the University of
Texas Law School for a year, then became a visiting
professor of history at Vanderbilt University. In 1987
he joined the history faculty at Texas A&M University,
where he taught for seventeen years.
In 2005 he returned to the University of Texas, where he
is the Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of
He has written twenty books, coauthored or edited five
others, and published dozens of articles and scores of
reviews. His books include The Money Men,
Andrew Jackson, The Age of Gold, The
First American, TR, The Strange Death
of American Liberalism, What America Owes the
World, and The Devil We Knew.
His articles have appeared in the New York Times,
the Wall Street Journal, the Washington
Post, the International Herald Tribune,
the Boston Globe, the Atlantic Monthly,
the Smithsonian, the National Interest,
the American Historical Review, the Journal
of American History, the Political Science
Quarterly, American History, and many
other newspapers, magazines and journals.
His writings have received critical and popular acclaim.
The First American was a finalist for the
Pulitzer Prize and the Los Angeles Times Prize,
as well as a New York Times bestseller. The
Age of Gold was a Washington Post Best
Book of 2002 and a San Francisco Chronicle
bestseller. Andrew Jackson was a Chicago
Tribune Best Book of 2005 and a Washington Post
bestseller. What America Owes the World was a
finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize in international
affairs. The Wages of Globalism was a
Choice Outstanding Academic Book winner. Lone
Star Nation won the Deolece Parmelee Award.
He is a member of various honorary societies, including
the Society of American Historians and the Philosophical
Society of Texas. He is a regular guest on national
radio and television programs, and is frequently
interviewed by the American and foreign press. His
writings have been published in several countries and
translated into German, French, Russian, Chinese,
Japanese, and Korean. He lives in Austin with his wife
and their youngest child.
This biography was last updated on 07/05/2011.
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