Joseph J. Ellis is the Ford Foundation Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College. Educated at the College of William and Mary and Yale University, he served as a captain in the army and taught at West Point before coming to Mount Holyoke in 1972. He was dean of the faculty there for ten years. Among his previous books are Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams and American Sphinx, which won the 1997 National Book Award. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with his wife, Ellen, and their three sons.