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Donald L. Miller, Lafayette’s John Henry MacCracken Professor of History, is featured in “Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided,” a presentation in the PBS television series American Experience. The six-hour program is scheduled to air in two-hour blocks in prime time on Feb. 19-21.

Miller appears as an on-air scholar throughout the show, which is narrated by historian David McCullough. Miller also was a consultant to the producer and director, David Grubin, who wrote the script with Geoffrey C. Ward.

“We thought that Lincoln hadn’t been done right. People see him as a statue, a marble man,” says Miller, who is currently writing a book on the Civil War Battle of Vicksburg that focuses heavily on Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. “This show takes a behind-the-scenes look. You get the mix of national events, but you also see how this president’s personal life impinged upon his public life. It’s not just a dual biography of Abraham and Mary Lincoln, it’s a very personal story.”

American Experience, television’s longest-running, most-watched history series, brings stories of the people and events that shaped the United States into nearly eight million homes each week. Now in its 13th season, the series has produced more than 125 programs and garnered every major broadcast award.

Miller has participated in the making of several film documentaries, including “America 1900,” a three-hour program that kicked off the 11th season of American Experience in November 1998. The program received a coveted George Foster Peabody Award. Founded in 1940, the Peabody Awards, administered by the University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, are considered by many to be the most prestigious recognition of excellence in broadcasting and cable.

Miller is also the lead scholar and on-air host of A Biography of America, a 26-part PBS video series and telecourse currently airing throughout the country. He conceptualized and named the series and helped recruit the other nationally-known historians who are participating. He wrote 17 of the scripts, edited the others, and hosted on-air interviews with numerous historians and novelists.

“Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided” also features historians David Herbert Donald, author of Lincoln, a 1996 biography, and Lincoln at Home: 2 Glimpses of Abraham Lincoln’s Family Life, published in November 2000 by Simon and Schuster; and Doris Kearns Goodwin, who is currently writing a biography of Lincoln. Goodwin is author of three acclaimed presidential biographies, including No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The American Home Front In World War II, for which she received the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for history.

Miller is the author or editor of five books. The latest is City of the Century: The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America, published by Simon and Schuster in 1996, which won a Great Lakes Book Award and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The book was also nominated for the Urban History Award as best book in North American Urban History for 1996. Miller received the President’s Award of the Victorian Society in America for “outstanding contribution to an understanding of the Victorian world.”

His Lewis Mumford, A Life (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1989), the first full-scale biography of Mumford, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and named one of the notable books of the year by the editors of the New York Times Book Review. It was also nominated for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Bancroft Prize, the American Book Award, the John Hope Franklin Prize, and the Pen/Martha Allbrand Award for Nonfiction.

Miller, who served five years as Mumford’s literary executor, is also editor of The Lewis Mumford Reader (Pantheon Books, 1986). In July 1987 Miller represented Mumford at an awards ceremony and reception at the White House and accepted the National Medal for the Arts from President Reagan on Mumford’s behalf.

Miller authored The Kingdom of Coal: Work, Enterprise, and Ethnic Communities in the Mine Fields (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985) with Richard E. Sharpless, professor of history at Lafayette. Nominated for several prizes, including the Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award, the Francis Parkman Prize, and the Bancroft Prize, Kingdom of Coal was reissued in April 1999 by the Canal History & Technology Press. A seven-part National Public Radio series by Miller and Sharpless based on the book won first prize in the Excellence in Broadcasting Competition in 1989.

Miller is also the author of New American Radicalism: Non-Marxian Radicalism in the 1930s (Kennikat Press, 1979).

Miller has also written numerous articles for national publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune. He has won five awards for excellence in teaching, three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was a fellow at All Souls College, Oxford.

Miller joined the Lafayette faculty in 1977. He holds a doctoral degree in American intellectual history from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree from Ohio University, and a bachelor’s degree from Saint Vincent College. Before coming to Lafayette he taught at Cornell University’s New York School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the City University of New York, and Monmouth College. In 1993 Saint Vincent College awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

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