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Institute for Religion, Politics & Culture

Adam Goodheart

Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the C.V. Starr Center For The Study Of The American Experience

Adam Goodheart is a historian, travel essayist, and critic whose work often deals with the intersection of the present and the past. A 1992 graduate of Harvard, he was a founder and senior editor ofCivilization, the magazine of the Library of Congress, which won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in its first year of publication. He has been a prolific writer, contributing frequent essays and reviews to such publications as the New York Times (where he also served as deputy editor of the Op-Ed page), the American Scholar (of which he is a contributing editor and former Editorial Board member), the Atlantic MonthlyNational GeographicSmithsonian, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications. Goodheart’s travel writing has appeared in OutsideGQConde Nast Traveler, and other magazines. Among the prizes his work has received are the Lowell Thomas Award of the Society of American Travel Writers (2004) the Henry Lawson Award for Travel Writing (2005), and the A.D. Emmart Award for excellence in the humanities (2007); his essays have appeared in numerous anthologies, including the 2003 and 2008 editions of the Norton Reader. In 2011, Adam Goodheart published his his first book titled 1861, which quickly became a New York Times Bestseller. He is the director of the American Pictures Distinguished Lecture Series at the Smithsonian, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Humanities Council. Goodheart has taught courses in American Studies, English, History, Anthropology, and Art at Washington College, where in 2006 he became the director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. The position was endowed by the Hodson Trust later that year as the Hodson Trust-Griswold Directorship. 


  • B.A., Harvard University, 1992