Robert McDonald

Professor of History

U.S. Military Academy · West Point, NY 10996 ·

Rob McDonald’s research and writing focuses on the politics and public culture of the American Revolution and Early Republic. His interests include the shaping of popular opinion as well as the relationship between history and memory. His current projects focus on the Declaration of Independence. One, in its early stages, examines the mounting argument in favor of independence in the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party. The other, intended to result in a volume co-edited with Seanegan P. Sculley, features essays examining the ways in which, in the nearly 250 years since 1776, successive generations of Americans leveraged the Declaration in different ways, for different purposes, and to advance sometimes competing causes.


University of Virginia

Bachelor of Arts

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Master of Arts

University of Oxford


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Ph. D

Notable Publications

Confounding Father: Thomas Jefferson’s Image in His Own Time , (University of Virginia Press, 2016).


Revolutionary Prophecies: The Founders and America’s Future (with Peter S. Onuf; University of Virginia Press, 2020).
The American Revolution: Core Documents (Ashbrook Press, 2019).
Thomas Jefferson’s Lives: Biographers and the Battle for History (University of Virginia Press, 2019).
Sons of the Father: George Washington and His Protégés (University of Virginia Press, 2013).
Light and Liberty: Thomas Jefferson and the Power of Knowledge (University of Virginia Press, 2012).
Thomas Jefferson’s Military Academy: Founding West Point (University of Virginia Press, 2004).