Richard Beeman is a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of six books and several dozen articles on the history of revolutionary America; his biography of Patrick Henry was a finalist for the National Book award. (For more information on Professor Beeman's previous work click here). His most recent book, Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution is the most comprehensive account of the Constitutional Convention to appear in the past half century; it will be released by Random House in March, 2009. The book takes readers behind the scenes and beyond the debate to show how the world's most enduring constitution was forged through conflict, compromise, and, eventually, fragile consensus.
Professor Beeman has served as Chair of the University of Pennsylvania's Department of History, Associate Dean in Penn's School of Arts and Sciences responsible for the School's humanities and social sciences departments, and as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center and is Chair of the Constitution Center's Committee on Programs, Exhibits, and Education. He serves as Vice-Chair of the Distinguished Scholars Panel of the Constitution Center and as a member of the scholarly advisory board of the American Revolution Center.
Dr. Beeman has received numerous awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and the Huntington Library. He has served as a Fulbright Professor in the United Kingdom and as Vyvian Harmsworth Distinguished Professor of American History at Oxford University.
He lives in Media, Pennsylvania with his wife, Mary Cahill, and their golden retriever, Abigail Adams.