Owens, Richard H.
About the author: Dr. Richard Owens is President and Professor of History at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio. He received his PhD in history at the University of Maryland. He has published two novels, and several articles. In 1993, he served as historian and commentator for “A Nation Divided,” a BBC production on the US Civil War. In addition to duties as college president, Owens continues to teach history and is writing a book about the Battle of Gettysburg.2002 0-7734-7242-8
This study provides a portrait of Horace Porter as a man at war, work, and in service to his country over several decades from the mid-19th century through WWI. It offers interesting commentary on the emergence of the United States as a world power and many diplomatic and international issues of the decades around the turn of the 20th century. It follows Porter from his service as an aid to Grant in the Civil War through his career as Ambassador to France and beyond.
“Owens’ topic is a worthy one. Horace Porter seems to be a man of many talents, not the least of which was his great literary flair. A prolific writer, he not only lived a full and exciting life, but he also possessed the inclination and ability to record in on paper. He also, in turn, distinguished himself as a warrior, an emissary, an industrial mogul, and a statesman of many talents. . . . well-written and quite readable. . . will appeal most to serious students of history, and more specifically to scholars interested in the major events of late nineteenth century. I see a real possibility for use in upper-level or graduate courses focused on the Gilded Age. It will also capture the attention of lay readers curious about the various topics presented, ranging from the Civil War to the railroad industry to early twentieth-century diplomacy.” – David Hogan
“This book is based largely on research in primary sources, including memoirs and archival records in the United States, Great Britain, and France. Professor Owens’ account demonstrates how biography can provide its lively and moving story, and at the same time throw significant light on broader long term patterns in history. It is good biography, good history, and an enlightening contribution to understanding where we are and how we got here.” – Wayne S. Cole