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Dr James Drake

CN 211G

Educational Biography

Born and raised in Denver, James Drake has been haunted by the fear that his academic career peaked in kindergarten when, had it been formally calculated, he may have finished near the top of Mrs. Okasaki's class. Although dogged by the realization that he could never live up to that performance, he persevered. After high school, he continued his education in California. Generally, this was a good idea, as he managed to graduate from U.C. Berkeley and earn his Ph.D. at UCLA. But fires, mudslides, earthquakes, celebrity trials, civil unrest, traffic, and a wife full of wisdom all prompted him to return to Denver in 1996, the year he began teaching at Metropolitan State College of Denver. He has written two books: King Philip's War: Civil War in New England, 1675-1676 (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999); and The Nation's Nature: How Continental Presumptions Gave Rise to the United States of America (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011), which won the Walker Cowen Memorial Prize and the Phi Alpha Theta Best Subsequent Book Award. Now he is progressing so slowly on a book about the Rocky Mountains that, even should he live to be one hundred and two, he will be lucky to have it published posthumously.

Courses Taught


Office Hours

Monday - [12:30 to 14:30]
Tuesday - [12:30 to 14:30]
Thursday - [12:30 to 14:30]

Photo of Dr James  Drake

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