Degree: Ph.D., University of California, Davis (1968).
Field(s) of interest: 19th Century U.S.
Graduate Courses Offered:
American Historiography through the Civil War (Not Online)
Research Interests and Professional Activities
Professor Richards, also a former Chairman of the Department, won the American Historical Association's Albert J. Beveridge Prize in 1970 for his "Gentlemen of Property and Standing": Anti-Abolition Mobs in Jacksonian America (1970). He has written a textbook on the Jacksonian era, The Advent of American Democracy (1977), co-edited a collection of documents on American History, The American Record (1982, 1987, 1995), and written The Life and Times of Congressman John Quincy Adams (1986), a finalist for the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for biography. His book The Slave Power: the Free North and Southern Domination, 1780-1860 (2000) won second place in the prestigious Lincoln Prize Competition. HIs most recent book, Shays's Rebellion: The American Revolution's Final Battle, was published in 2002. His book The California Gold Rush and the Coming of the Civil War. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, was published in 2007.