Who Am I?

Michael A. Bellesiles


I'm embattled historian Michael A. Bellesiles, author of the award-winning and now widely disowned book, Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture.

While the rest of the professoriat is settling into the grind of teaching fall classes and and trying to score with students, I'm cooling my heels on academic leave as an independent panel investigates whether or not I made up evidence to support the central claims of my book (out in hardcover and paperback, by the way). Or whether, as I've contended, my critics are making up stuff about me.

But don't worry about me. Not only is my leave paid, I've got a $30,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant burning a hole in my pocket. If only I could have used the cash to stack that damn panel with my fellow historians Stephen Ambrose, Joseph Ellis, and Doris Kearns Goodwin. I think I'll spend most of this term trying to turn my story into a screenplay. All I need is an ending.