Stephen B. Oates

Stephen B. Oates (born 1936) is a former professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is an expert in the American Civil War Era.

Oates wrote 16 books during his career, all following the same theme, biographies of 19th-century American historical figures. He was accused of plagiarism in his biography of Abraham Lincoln, but was cleared by the University of Massachusetts and the American Historical Association.[1][2] Oates received the 1993 Nevins-Freeman Award of the Chicago Civil War Round Table for his historical work on the American Civil War.[3]

Let the Trumpet Sound; The Life of Martin Luther King Jr. received the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights 1983 Book award presented annually to the book that “most faithfully and forcefully reflects Robert Kennedy’s purposes – his concern for the poor and the powerless, his struggle for honest and even-handed justice, his conviction that a decent society must assure all young people a fair chance, and his faith that a free democracy can act to remedy disparities of power and opportunity.”[4]

Oates was seen as a commentator in the 1990 Ken Burns PBS miniseries, The Civil War.

Books in order of publication:

  • A Woman Of Valor: Clara Barton And The Civil War, 1994
  • The Fires Of Jubilee: Nat Turner’s Fierce Rebellion, 1975
  • With Malice Toward None: A Life Of Abraham Lincoln, 1977
  • Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind The Myths, 1984 (paperback reprint 2011)
  • Let The Trumpet Sound: The Life Of Martin Luther King, Jr., 1982
  • Approaching Fury: Voices Of The Storm, 1820–1861, 1997
  • Whirlwind Of War: Voices Of The Storm, 1861–1865, 1998. HarperCollins. 1999.
  • Confederate Cavalry West Of The River, 1961
  • Our Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln, John Brown, And The Civil War Era, 1979
  • Biography as High Adventure: Life-Writers Speak on Their Art, 1986
  • Biography as History, 1990
  • America Through the Eyes of an Artisan
  • Portrait of America : From Before Columbus to the End of Reconstruction (2 vols., 7th edition), 1999
  • To Purge This Land With Blood: A Biography of John Brown, 1970
  • William Faulkner: The Man and the Artist, 1987
  • The Ravages of War
  • Visions of Glory: Texans on the Southwestern Frontier, 1970
  • The Republic of Texas, 1968
  • Rip Ford’s Texas, 1963

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