Martin J. Sherwin

Martin J. Sherwin is University Professor of History at George Mason University. Before moving to GMU in 2007 he was the Walter S. Dickson Professor of English and American History at Tufts University for 27 years. His recent book, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (with Kai Bird) won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for biography, the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography and the English Speaking Union Book Award. It was a Washington Post and Boston Globe Best Seller. Time Magazine selected it as one of the 6 best non-fiction books of 2005 and the New York Times listed it as one of the 50 best non-fiction books of the year. The British edition published by Grove Atlantic Press was awarded the 2008 Duff Cooper Prize. It has been translated and published in German, Polish, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Hebrew, and Italian. Professor Sherwin is also the author of A World Destroyed: The Atomic Bomb and the Grand Alliance which won the Bernath Prize awarded by the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations as well as the American History Book Prize awarded by the National Historical Society. It was the 1976 finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Often referred to as a “classic,” it has been in print continuously for over 35 years. The current revised paperback edition of A World Destroyed is subtitled: Hiroshima and Its Legacies. He is currently writing a book on the nuclear arms race and the Cuban Missile Crisis, Gambling With Armageddon: The Nuclear Arms Race and the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1945-2012, to be published by Knopf, in 1985, and again in 1986, The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education awarded Sherwin its “Professor of the Year, Silver Medal Award.” Professor Sherwin was also the founding director and executive producer of the innovative Global Classroom Project, a ‘space bridge’ program that employed TV satellite technology to link his students at Tufts with university students in Moscow for interactive discussions about the nuclear arms race and the environment. The programs were broadcast throughout the Soviet Union and on selected PBS stations in the United States from1988 to 1992, Professor Sherwin has been an advisor for many documentary films on the history of the nuclear age, and he was the co-executive producer and NEH Project Director of the PBS documentary film, “Citizen Kurchatov: Stalin’s Bomb Maker,” (1998) a biography of Igor Kurchatov, the first scientific director of the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons programs. He was the academic advisor to the PBS-American Experience documentary, “The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” (January, 2009) which was based on American Prometheus. Professor Sherwin has held appointments as the Cardozo Fund Visiting Professor of American History at Yale University and as the Barnette-Miller Visiting Professor of International Relations at Wellesley College. He has been on the faculties of U.C. Berkeley, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Cornell Universities. In 1994 he was appointed “Honorable UNESCO Professor of Humanities” at Mendeleyev University in Moscow, Russia. In 2007 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Bowling Green State University, Professor Sherwin has received fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Sloan Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, Harvard’s Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

See Sherwin on Wednesday, October 11th at 12:00 p.m. at the Sandy Spring Bank Tent on Mason’s Fairfax campus. Click here for event details.