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Geoffrey C. Ward

A former editor of AMERICAN HERITAGE, Geoffrey Ward is an author and screenwriter of various documentaries on American history. He wrote the television mini-series The Civil War with Ken Burns and has collaborated with Burns on every documentary he has made since, including Jazz and Baseball. This work won him five Emmy Awards. Another Burns/Ward collaboration, The War, premiered on PBS in September 2007. In addition he co-wrote The West, of which Ken Burns was an executive producer, with fellow historian Dayton Duncan. Ward is the author or co-author of eighteen books, including five companion books to the documentaries he has written. A First-Class Temperament, his biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Francis Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1962.

Articles by this Author

THE SCREENWRITER discovered that one of his subjects had composed a little-known testament that deserves a place in our highest literary canon
Three movies newly available on video cast a cold—and occasionally even scornful—eye on their subjects
William Fletcher went off to war with surprisingly few illusions, and nothing he saw there gave him new ones
Sabat’s Jazz, October 1995 | Vol. 46, No. 6
An Argentinian Artist Looks at America’s Music
Fighting Ghosts, October 1995 | Vol. 46, No. 6
Polio’s legacy to those who survived it includes uncommon stamina and courage—and one grim new joke
How a half-dozen pillars of the community became infatuated with the idea of shedding (someone else’s) blood
Family, July/August 1995 | Vol. 46, No. 4
A luminously written inquiry into the history of one man’s family turns out to be about all of us
He had a long, intimate friendship that stayed unknown for almost half a century after his death
Three new studies offer important glimpses into a subject whose significance never dwindles
Billie Holiday, December 1994 | Vol. 45, No. 8
In a sordid new biography, the great blues singer’s life has eclipsed her art
The La Follette children grew up in the painful brilliance shed by an illustrious father
WHAT HAPPENED when a historian largely indifferent to the subject set out to write the script for Ken Burns’s monumental new documentary
FDR and Eleanor could do just about anything—beat a Depression, win a world war—except please each other
A veteran columnist who defies summarization has published a dazzling new compendium of his work
A very distant world of Puritans and the Native Americans they dispossessed, brought to complex life
Benedict Arnold never quite understood the cause he served superbly and then betrayed
Want to write about a famous crime? Why not start out by totally ignoring character and motive?
The mail he received reminds us anew of how little praise he received, and how philosophically he bore abuse
He wrote down everything he saw in a career that stretched from the Civil War well into this century
A fine documentary on the Great Depression, an admirable accompanying book—and a truly wretched biography
Leadbelly, October 1993 | Vol. 44, No. 6
The great Louisiana bluesman made his first recordings inside Angola Penitentiary
The most celebrated of all Indian leaders gets his first new biography in more than half a century
Police Blotter, April 1993 | Vol. 44, No. 2