History professor Dr. Stephen Taaffe was recently featured in the New York Times Book Review “Battlefields: Recent Books in Military History” for his book “Washington’s Revolutionary War Generals.”
The book took Taaffe three years to research and write and two years to find a publisher.
Taaffe describes the book as a “study of the 73 generals who were appointed generals during the Revolutionary War by Congress, why they were selected and how well they performed.”
“I’ve always been interested in military leadership in particular, really any leadership, in general,” Taaffe said. “I wondered why these people are the ones who get to be in charge. Why are they the bosses and not other people? My time in academia has led me to wonder a lot about why certain people are put in charge.”
“I had Taaffe my first semester of college for American History,” Caleb Stewart, a junior creative writing major from Hallsville, said. “His history class has been my favorite out of the few I have had to take. I enjoyed sitting through his lectures. I liked his teaching style because he just gave you the information you needed, no fluff. He is a very knowledgeable professor and gave some different perspectives on different points of our country’s founding.”
Many of Taaffe’s colleagues spoke highly of his accomplishments as a writer, as well as a member of the history department.
“Washington’s Revolutionary War Generals’ is Dr. Taaffe’s seventh book, making him by some distance the most productive scholar in the history department,” Dr. Troy Davis, chair of the history department, said.
“Dr. Taaffe’s record has made him well- known among military historians and brings positive attention to SFA. I also believe good scholarship informs good teaching, so I think the publication of this latest book by Dr. Taaffe helps our students as well.”
“Stephen Taaffe is the most prolific member of the history department,”
- Dr. Phillip Catton, fellow history professor.
“Indeed, I’ve lost count of the number of books he has written. The inclusion of his latest work in the ‘New York Times Book Review’ is a testament to the fine quality of his scholarship.”
Regents Professor of History Dr. Jere Jackson believes Taaffe established a solid reputation for commitment that has proven his dedication to academia and the education of students.
“His professional mastery of our chosen craft is matched by equal devotion to the interests of his coworkers, his department, his college and to [the] University,” Jackson said.
“He has worked diligently for our University community by his fealty to the interaction of students, faculty and a body of knowledge as the reason for the University’s existence.
“He has fought to remain fixed to this basic combination even when challenged by a variety of opponents and changing fads. He has fought for integrity [and] for standards in education even while remaining flexible in how these can and should be implemented. The review in the New York Times places his work in rare company. Steve has expanded our knowledge of American history, honored many forgotten participants in our unique national story and, in the process, cast SFA into a most favorable spotlight.”