John C. Miller, a retired professor at Stanford University who wrote several major books about early American history that won praise for their scholarship and analysis, died Sunday at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 83 years old and lived in Palo Alto.

He died of liver cancer, his family said.

Mr. Miller wrote a dozen books about the American Revolution and the early years of the nation.

Critics praised him for research and fresh insights dispelling myths. They said his work captured the color and personalities of history while plumbing political, social and economic forces.

Born in Santa Barbara, Calif., he grew up in Tacoma, Wash. He was a graduate of Harvard University, where, studying under Samuel Eliot Morison, he also earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in history.

Origins of the American Revolution1943
Federalist Era 1789 – 1801 (The New American Nation Series)1963
The First Frontier: Life in Colonial America1973