Department of History
The University of Houston
524 Agnes Arnold Hall
Houston, TX 77204-3003
Faculty and Staff
James Kirby Martin
Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen University Professor of History
- Phone: (713) 743-3107
- Email: email@example.com
- Office: 640 Agnes Arnold Hall
Martin is a nationally recognized scholar of Early American history, especially the era of the American Revolution, and he is also well known for his writings on various aspects of American military and social history. He received his B.A. degree from Hiram College (summa cum laude) and then earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He began his teaching career at Rutgers University, where he earned the rank of Professor of History and also served for a period as Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 1980, he moved to the University of Houston, having accepted the assignment of serving as Department Chair of History with the mandate to foster the development of a cutting edge program fully devoted to excellence in teaching and the production of high quality scholarship.
Martin helped found the Papers of Thomas Edison project at Rutgers University and for a few years served on its board of advisers. He was also on the advisory board of the Papers of William Livingston project. He has also served as general editor for a book series on the "American Social Experience" (New York University Press) and as a consulting editor for a book series entitled "Conversations with the Past" (Brandywine Press). Martin is currently serving on the advisory board of editors for the "Critical Historical Encounters" book series sponsored by Oxford University Press. He has done consulting with some of the nation's most eminent law firms in regard to the history of various consumer products, including alcohol and tobacco, and has both appeared on and advised on television programs aired by the History Channel. He regularly advises on historical issues with Talon Films of New York.
Martin's teaching interests include Early American history through the Revolution, American military history through the Civil War, and Medicine and Health in the American Experience, especially in relation to the history of drinking, smoking, and hard drugs.He has taught many different undergraduate courses ranging from the survey history of the United States and Colonial and Revolutionary American history to topical courses on such subjects as disease and addiction in the American experience. His graduate level course offerings include Early American historiography as well as the introductory and advanced courses on research and writing in United States history. He also teaches a course on the history of ordinary persons.
Martin is the award-winning author and editor of twelve books and numerous scholarly articles. His current research interests focus on military, social, and political aspects of early American history, especially the Revolutionary era and beyond. Recently he completed a major revision of his co-authored work, A Respectable Army: The Military Origins of the Republic, 1763-1789 (2006), and he has co-authored (with Joseph Glatthaar) a new book entitled Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution (2006). In 2008, a new, third edition of Ordinary Courage: The Revolutionary War Adventures of Joseph Plumb Martin, appeared. Martin's current writing projects include a general history of Revolutionary America, a volume on Benedict Arnold's treason (with Oxford University Press), and the Six Nations and the Battle of Oriskany. He is also completing research on a study of the history of smoking in America (a companion volume related to his earlier co-authored book on drinking in America). Martin has also worked on movie screenplays, one focusing on Benedict Arnold’s treason and the other on Oneida warrior Han Yerry Doxtader and Mohawk warrior Joseph Brant.
- Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution (Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006).
- Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero: An American Warrior Reconsidered (New York University Press, 1997).
- Drinking in America: A History 1620-1980 (The Free Press, a division of the MacMillan Company, 1982). Revised edition, 1987. With M.E. Lender.
- A Respectable Army: The Military Origins of the Republic, 1763-1789 (Harlan Davidson, Inc., 1982). Second Edition, 2006. With M.E. Lender.
- In the Course of Human Events: An Interpretive Exploration of the American Revolution (Harlan Davidson, Inc., 1979)
- Men in Rebellion: Higher Government Leaders and the Coming of the American Revolution (Rutgers University Press, 1973).
- American and Its Peoples: A Mosiac in the Making (Longman, Inc. 1989 [formerly Scott, Foresman & Company, and HarperCollins Publishers]). Fifth edition, 2004. With Randy W. Roberts, Steven H. Mintz, Linda O. McMurry, and James H. Jones.
- Ordinary Courage: The Revolutionary War Adventures of Joseph Plumb Martin (Brandywine Press, 1993). Third Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, 2008.
- Citizen-Soldier: The Revolutionary War Journal of Joseph Bloomfield (New Jersey Historical Society, 1982). With M.E. Lender.