I grew up in Berkeley, received my B.A. from Stanford in 1965, then went to Harvard where I received a Ph.D. degree in History in 1971. I planned to become a professor, but in face of the Ph.D. glut that began in the 1970s I decided to pursue an administrative career. This led to jobs both in and outside of California, including work at a community college in Monterey County and positions in Washington DC at a White House environmental council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Then, from 1986 until retirement in 2011, I worked as a fundraiser at Universities in Chicago and Boston. Along the way I managed to write three scholarly books: Manchester in the Victorian Age (1985), British Propaganda and the State in the First World War (1992), and The Battle for the Mind: War and Peace in the Era of Mass Communication (2011).
I met my wife, Cleo, in Washington DC while she was on the staff of Senator Alan Cranston. She is a graduate of Stanford (B.A.) and The University of Chicago (M.A.). Our son, Eric, is a graduate of Stanford and New York University Law School.