Born Parker's Landing, Pennsylvania, March 28, 1934. AB, Princeton University 1956. U.S. Navy, radar picket ship North Atlantic, 1956-58. Married 1957 to Onyria Herrere Diaz. MA, PhD, Duke University 1963,1966.
Instructor, Duke University (summers 1965, 1966); Visiting Assistant Professor, Clemson University (1964-65); Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1966-70, on leave 1968-69); Associate and Full Professor, University of Arizona (1970-99). Professor emeritus, University of Arizona (1999 to present). Fulbright Professor of American Studies, University of Salamanca, Spain, 1968-69; Fulbright Professor of American Studies, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil, 1986. Visiting professor Poland, summer 1981; Columbia, spring 1993.
Author Finding Freedom: Americas's Distinctive Cultural Formation (Southern Illinois University Press, 1989), American Beliefs: What Keeps a Big Country and a Diverse People United (Ivan R. Dee, 1999), and Divided We Stand: The Rejection of American Culture since the 1960's (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006). Editor The Sacrificial Years: A Chronicle of Walt Whitman's Experiences in the Civil War (David R. Godine 1999) and Washington Irving's Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Twayne, 1981; vol. XI in The Complete Works of Washington Irving).
Wrote and was narrative voice for series of thirteen half-hour radio programs in 1976 to celebrate the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence ("Literature of the Early Republic," aired on KUAT, re-broadcast 1977); program on the dramatist Royal Tyler won "Best in the West" award for cultural programming.
Founding president, 1982, of Solidarity Tucson, a citizens' support group for the Polish freedom movement Solidarity; re-elected twice. Also chairman, 1985,1986, of the Tucson Captive Nations Committee; wrote inscription for the monument to victims of Soviet imperialism erected in Himmel Park next to west parking lot.