William I. Hitchcock is Professor of History at the University of Virginia and Director of Research and Scholarship at the Miller Center. His work and teaching focuses on the international, diplomatic and military history of the 20th Century, with a particular focus on the era of the world wars and the cold war. He has written widely on trans-Atlantic relations and European history and politics.
He received his B.A. degree from Kenyon College in 1986 and his Ph.D. from Yale in 1994, working under the supervision of Paul Kennedy. His first faculty appointment was to the Yale faculty and he taught there for six years, also serving as Associate Director of International Security Studies. He published France Restored: Cold War Diplomacy and the Quest for Leadership in Europe (UNC, 1998) and co-edited a volume with Paul Kennedy titled From War to Peace: Altered Strategic Landscapes in the 20th Century (Yale, 2000). He moved to Wellesley College in 1999, taught there for five years, and then took a position as a dean and professor of history at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he also served as Chair of the History Department. After publishing The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent, 1945-present (Doubleday/Anchor, 2002), he went on to write about the experience of liberation at the close of World War II. His book The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe (Free Press, 2008) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, a winner of the George Louis Beer Prize, and a Financial Times bestseller in the UK. In 2010, he was appointed Professor in the History Department at the University of Virginia, and he joined the Miller Center as a participant in the “Governing America and a Global Era” program.
His most recent book is The Human Rights Revolution: An International History (co-edited with Petra Goedde and Akira Iriye, Oxford: 2012), which features an essay by Hitchcock on the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the evolution of the laws of war.
He is now at work on a book called “The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s.”