A specialist in the history of American frontiers, borderlands, and Wests, I am the author of HOW THE WEST WAS LOST: THE TRANSFORMATION OF KENTUCKY FROM DANIEL BOONE TO HENRY CLAY (1996) and AMERICAN CONFLUENCE: THE MISSOURI FRONTIER FROM BORDERLAND TO BORDER STATE (2006) and the co-author of WORLDS TOGETHER, WORLDS APART: A HISTORY OF THE WORLD FROM THE BEGINNINGS OF HUMANKIND TO THE PRESENT (2002, 2008, 2011, 2014). I have recently completed AMERICAN WESTS: A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION, which will be published in 2014 by Oxford University Press, and am working on a book with the tentative title CAN WE ALL GET ALONG: AN ALTERNATIVE HISTORY OF AMERICAN WESTS.
At UCLA, I am professor of history and Vice Chair for Academic Personnel. I also have an appointment at the Autry National Center, where I was the founding Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of the American West at the Autry National Center and now serve as Chair of that Institute. With these appointments, I seek to bridge the divide that has grown up between universities and museums and between "academic" and "public" history. For more on "What I Do," see my video on the AHA's youtube channel.