Wilson, Robert 1951-

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WILSON, Robert 1951-
(Robert S. Wilson)

PERSONAL:

Born 1951. Education: Graduated from Washington and Lee University; University of Virginia, master's degree.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Manassas, VA. Office—The American Scholar, 1606 New Hampshire Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20009. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER:

American Scholar, editor, 2005—; Preservation, editor, six years; Civilization, founding literary editor. Writing instructor at University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University, George Mason University, and American University. Former editor for Washington Post; former editor and book columnist for USA Today.

WRITINGS:

(Editor) A Certain Somewhere: Writers on the Places They Remember, Random House (New York, NY), 2002.

The Explorer King: Adventure, Science, and the Great Diamond Hoax; Clarence King in the Old West, Scribner (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to Atlantic Monthly, New Republic, Smithsonian, Wilson Quarterly, and Contemporary Literary Criticism.

SIDELIGHTS:

Robert Wilson is the editor of the American Scholar, a quarterly journal published by the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Prior to this, he was an editor for Preservation, the magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Library of Congress's Civilization magazine. Wilson was an editor for more mainstream periodicals as well, including USA Today and the Washington Post, and he was a contributor to numerous others. Wilson's first book published was a collection of essays from Preservation called A Certain Somewhere: Writers on the Places They Remember.

Wilson published The Explorer King: Adventure, Science, and the Great Diamond Hoax; Clarence King in the Old West in 2006. King was a nineteenth-century geologist who conducted expeditions in the Sierra Nevada and other western locales that had never been explored by non-native peoples. Despite the difficulty involved in writing a biography on someone whose own records are widely believed to be exaggerated, reviews of Wilson's work were mostly positive. A Publishers Weekly critic said that Wilson wrote "an affectionate account of King's life that emphasizes the inevitable hardship of exploration as much as King's scientific achievements." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews called the story "lively and well told." Patrick O'Driscoll, writing in USA Today, commented that Wilson "deftly synthesizes the times and King's place in them" with "smooth narrative."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Entertainment Weekly, March 3, 2006, Paul Katz, review of The Explorer King: Adventure, Science, and the Great Diamond Hoax; Clarence King in the Old West, p. 105.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2005, review of The Explorer King, p. 1316.

New York Times Book Review, March 12, 2006, Candice Millard, review of The Explorer King, p. L27.

Publishers Weekly, November 28, 2005, review of The Explorer King, p. 35.

USA Today, March 7, 2006, Patrick O'Driscoll, review of The Explorer King, p. D4.

ONLINE

Phi Beta Kappa Society Web site,http://www.pbk.org/ (July 20, 2006), author profile.

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