General Mark W. Clark Distinguished Chair of History and Director of the M.A. in Military History
David L. Preston is, “one of the most gifted young historians writing today,” according to the eminent historian and Pulitzer-Prize winner David Hackett Fischer. Professor Preston is an award-winning historian of early America with a special interest in war and peace among the French, British, and Indian peoples of the eighteenth century. He is the General Mark W. Clark Distinguished Professor of History at The Citadel, where he teaches cadets and officer candidates about U.S. military history and early American history.
Growing up in western Pennsylvania instilled in him a passion for the French & Indian War era, and inevitably, for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He went on to earn his doctorate in American history at The College of William & Mary, where he studied with the influential ethnohistorian Professor James Axtell. His first book, The Texture Of Contact: European and Indian Settler Communities on the Frontiers of Iroquoia, 1667-1783 (2009), was hailed as an innovative study of how French, British, and Indian communities coexisted near the Iroquois Confederacy. The Texture Of Contact received the 2010 Albert B. Corey Prize, for best book on American-Canadian relations, a prize awarded biennially by the American Historical Association and Canadian Historical Association. It also received the 2010 Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Research from the New York State Archives. He is also the author of Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution, published by Oxford University Press in 2015 as part of the distinguished Pivotal Moments in American History book series edited by David Hackett Fischer and James McPherson.
Winner, 2015 Gilder-Lehrman Prize in Military History (for Braddock’s Defeat)Finalist, 2016 George Washington Book PrizeWinner, 2016 Distinguished Book Award, Society for Military HistoryWinner, 2016 Distinguished Book Award, Society of Colonial WarsWinner, 2016 PROSE Award in U.S. History, Association of American Publishers
Ph.D. American History (College of William and Mary) M.A. American History (College of William and Mary) B.A. History (Mary Washington College, magna cum laude)
Research Interests: Colonial America, Native America, Revoltionary War