About Jay Winik

image Jay Winik, one of the nation's leading historians, is renowned for his gifted and creative approaches to history. He is the author of The New York Times and #1 bestseller April 1865 (2001), which received wide international acclaim and became an award-wining documentary on the History Channel, watched by 20 million viewers.

One of those rare books to be considered an instant classic, and frequently described by readers as “one of the best works of history” they’ve ever read, April 1865 was chosen by the New York Public Library for its prestigious “Books to Remember 2001,” awarded to the year’s most “exceptional fiction and nonfiction titles.” It was also the recipient of the first Walt Whitman Civil War Roundtable Award in 2002.

A regular contributor for history to The Wall Street Journal, Winik’s writing also appears frequently in The New York Times and The Washington Post.  A frequent television and radio guest, he also regularly appears in major historical documentaries on the History Channel.  Previously, he had a distinguished government career in foreign policy that put him in the thick of civil wars around the globe, from the former Yugoslavia to El Salvador, Nicaragua and Cambodia, including helping to create the landmark United Nations Plan to end Cambodia’s civil war.  He holds a B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University and an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and is a Senior Scholar of History and Public Policy at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.  He is on the governing council of the National Endowment for the Humanities and serves as a trustee on a number of other non-profit boards having to do with history, preservation, and education.  He lives with his family in Chevy Chase, MD.

Winik has an intense, passionate, and enthusiastic reader base who have long been eagerly awaiting The Great Upheaval. His readers and fans include a wide cross-section of America, including George Lucas, Quincy Jones, the actress Jamie Lee Curtis, President Bill Clinton, Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, presidential candidate John Edwards, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, baseball star Mike Piazza, and Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell. 

Six years in the making and a herculean research challenge, The Great Upheaval is the first book to weave together a global narrative of the crucial period of the 1790s.  Winik combed documents and sources from multiple languages across three continents, in America, France, and Russia, to create an entirely new picture of America’s formative years - both their perils and possibilities - as well as a stunningly fresh new picture of the modern world. 

Jay Winik is one of the nation's leading historians and the author of the New York Times bestsellers April 1865 and The Great Upheaval. read more »

Media & Events

  • Interview by Edward Morris in BookPage
  • “An Historic Birth” - Interview in The National Review
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The Era that Redefined History
New York Times Bestseller

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