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Jean Edward Smith (born October 13, 1932, Washington, D.C.) is professor at Marshall University[1] and biographer. Currently he is the John Marshall Professor of Political Science at Marshall University and professor emeritus at the University of Toronto after having served as professor of political economy there for thirty-five years. Smith also currently serves as professor of history and government at Ashland University.

A graduate of McKinley High School in Washington, D.C., Smith received an A.B. from Princeton University in 1954. While attending Princeton, Smith was mentored under law professor and political scientist William M. Beaney. Professor Beaney's American Constitutional Law: Introductory Essays & Selected Cases, became a standard text and was widely used in university constitutional law classes for several years. Serving in the military from 1954-1961, he rose from the rank of Second Lieutenant to Captain (RA) US Army (Artillery). Smith served in West Berlin and Dachau, Germany. In 1964, he obtained a Ph.D. from the Department of Public Law and Government of Columbia University. Smith began his teaching career as assistant professor of government at Dartmouth College, a post he held from 1963 until 1965. He then became a professor of political economy at the University of Toronto in 1965 until his retirement in 1999. Professor Smith also served as visiting professor at several universities during his tenure at the University of Toronto and after his retirement including the Freie Universität in Berlin, Georgetown University[2], the University of Virginia’s Woodrow Wilson Department of Government and Foreign Affairs, and the University of California at San Diego.

Smith is the author of numerous books and has been called (by George Will), "Today's foremost biographer of formidable figures in American history."[3]


  • FDR, New York: Random House, 2007
  • Grant, New York: Simon and Shuster, 2001.
  • The Face of Justice: Portraits of John Marshall (with William H. Gerdts, Wendell D. Garrett, Frederick S. Voss, and David B. Dearinger), Huntington, West Virginia: Huntington Museum of Art, 2001.
  • John Marshall: Definer of a Nation, New York: Henry, Holt & Company, 1996.
  • Lucius D. Clay: An American Life, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1990.
  • George Bush's War, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1992.
  • The Constitution and American Foreign Policy
  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Debated (with Herbert Levine)
  • The Conduct of American Foreign Policy Debated (with Herbert Levine)
  • The Evolution of NATO with Four Plausible Threat Scenarios (with Steven L. Canby), Ottawa, Canada: Canada Department of National Defence, 1987.
  • The Papers of Lucius D. Clay (ed.)
  • Germany Beyond the Wall: People, Politics, and Prosperity
  • The Wall as Watershed, Arlington, Virginia: Institute for Defence Analyses, 1966.
  • Der Weg ins Delemma, 1965.
  • The Defence of Berlin, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1963.


  1. ^ Marshall University Marshall University biographical sketch
  2. ^ Georgetown UniversityGeorgetown University biographical sketch
  3. ^ FDR (paperback), Endorsement by George Will on back cover

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