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Richard Drake curriculum vitae

Richard Drake teaches history at the University of Montana. He was educated at St. Michael’s College (B.A. 1963), Brown University (M.A. 1965), and the University of California, Los Angeles (Ph.D. 1976). He spent the 1969-1970 academic year studying at the University of Padova. He has taught at UCLA (1973-1976; 1978-1979), UC Irvine (1976-1978), Wellesley College (1979-1980), Princeton University (1980-1982), New York University (summers 1980 and 1981), and since 1982 at the University of Montana. In April 2017 he became the inaugural holder of the Lucile Speer Research Chair in Politics and History.

His book publications include Byzantium for Rome: The Politics of Nostalgia in Umbertian Italy, 1878-1900 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980; paperback appeared in 2012 as a UNC Press Enduring Edition); The Revolutionary Mystique and Terrorism in Contemporary Italy (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1989; winner of the Society for Italian Historical Studies’ Marraro Prize; paperback edition 2021); and The Aldo Moro Murder Case (Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 1995; translated into Italian in 1996 as Il caso Aldo Moro: Una tragedia italiana vista da uno storico americano by Marco Tropea Editore of Milan). The book was reviewed in more than three dozen publications here and in Europe, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and La Repubblica. The University of Montana named him the Distinguished Scholar of the year for 1996. A five-year update of the Moro book appeared in the June 2001 issue of The Journal of Modern History, “Why the Moro Trials Have Not Settled the Moro Murder Case: A Problem in Political and Intellectual History.” This article was translated into Italian with the title “Cultura della rivoluzione e delitto Moro: Le teorie della cospirazione contro la verità che fa male” and published in the November-December 2001 issue of Nuova Storia Contemporanea. In connection with a project on ideological extremism in Italy, he received a National Endowment for the Humanities research fellowship for the 1999-2000 academic year. Harvard University Press then published Apostles and Agitators: Italy’s Marxist Revolutionary Tradition in 2003. Le Letterepublishing house in Florence brought out an Italian translation of the book, Apostoli e agitatori: La tradizionerivoluzionaria marxista in Italia, in 2008. Beginning in 2010, he added a new research field, American Foreign Policy. The Education of an Anti-Imperialist: Robert La Follette and U.S. Expansion (University of Wisconsin Press) appeared in 2013. His most recent book is Charles Austin Beard: The Return of the Master Historian of American Imperialism (Cornell University Press, 2018; paperback edition 2023). An H-Diplo Roundtable Review of the Beard book was published on October 19, 2019.

Articles stemming from research compiled for the books on La Follette and Beard include “The Hope and Ultimate Tragedy  of the 1919 King-Crane Report,” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, June/July 2014; “The Barton-Howe ‘Report’ and the Middle East: Past and Present,” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October 2014; “Charles Beard and the English Historians,” Constitutional Commentary, n. 3, 2014; “This Is When Muslims in the Middle East Turned to Extremism,“ History News Network, March 1, 2015; “Allies against Empire: Robert La Follette and Albert Jay Nock Opposed War from Left and Right,” The American Conservative, 30 April 2015; “The Trans-Pacific Partnership in Historical Perspective,” History News Network, June 28, 2015; “The Greatest Speech in the History of the United States Senate and Its Meaning for Today,” The Daily Call, February 23, 2016; “An Appreciation: Chalmers Johnson’s Writings on the American Empire,” Responsible Statecraft, April 12, 2020;“Charles Austin Beard and Robinson Jeffers: A Historian and a Poet Against the American Empire,” Jeffers Studies, June 2020; “The Uses of History in the Anti-War Writing of Robinson Jeffers and Ezra Pound,” Jeffers Studies, January 2021; “A Comment on the Origins and Influence of Lenin’s Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism,Platypus Review, February 2021; “Charles Austin Beard’s Economic Interpretation of the American Century through His Journalistic Writings,” Diplomacy and Statecraft, March 2023 (this article was the subject of an H-Diplo review); “Charles Austin Beard, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States” for Bloomsbury History: Theory and Method digital resource (article went live January 3, 2024) “Lessons from the Progressive Campaign of 1924,” The Progressive, April/May 2024.

Other major articles and essays include the “Introduction” to A Woman by Sibilla Aleramo (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980); “The Theory and Practice of Italian Nationalism, 1900-1906,” The Journal of Modern History (June 1981); “Decadence, Decadentism, and Decadent Romanticism: Towards a Theory of the Decadence,“ The Journal of Contemporary History (January 1982); “Giulio Salvadori and the Catholic Political Tradition in Italy, The Review of Politics (July 1982); “The Red Brigades and the Italian Political Tradition,” in Terrorism in Europe, ed. by Yonah Alexander and Kenneth A. Myers (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1982); “The Red and the Black: Terrorism in Contemporary Italy,” International Political Science Review (July 1984); “Julius Evola and the Ideological Origins of the Radical Right in Contemporary Italy” in Peter H. Merkl ed., Political Violence and Terror: Motifs and Motivations (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1986); Julius Evola, Radical Fascism, and the Lateran Accords,” The Catholic Historical Review (July 1988); “Sibilla Aleramo and the Peasants of the Agro Romano: A Writer’s Dilemma,” Journal of the History of Ideas(April-June 1990); “Ideology and Terrorism in Italy: Autobiography as a Historical Source,” Terrorism and Political Violence (Summer 1992); and “Italy in the 1960s: A Legacy of Terrorism and Liberation,” South Central Review(Winter-Spring 2000-winner of the 2000 Kirby Award for the best article published in the South Central Review); “Julius Evola: intellettuale critico,” in Julius Evola: un pensiero per la fine del millennio (Rome: Europa LibreriaEditrice, 2001), “Vivere la rivoluzione: Raniero Panzieri, Quaderni Rossi, e la sinistra extraparlamentare,” Nuova Storia Contemporanea, November-December 2003; “Meridionalismo, the Crisis of Liberalism, and the Advent of Marxism in Post- Risorgimento Naples,” The European Legacy, August 2004; “Il seme della violenza: Toni Negri apostolo della rivoluzione nella stagione del terrorismo,” Nuova Storia Contemporanea, November-December 2004; “Italy’s Far Right and the Red Brigades,” in Taming Terrorism, ed. by Anna Reid (London: Policy Exchange, 2005); “The Italian Revolutionary Tradition,” in Italian Politics and Society, no. 60 Spring 2005, and “Combating Italian and Islamic Terrorism: A Comparative Study,” in The Faces of Terrorism, ed. by Sebastian Wojciechowski (Poznan, Poland: Institute of Political Science and Journalism, Adam Mickiewicz University, 2005); “The Italian Parliamentary Reports on the Mitrokhin Archive,” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence(Summer 2007); “Terrorism and the Consolation of History,” The Hedgehog Review (Summer 2007); “The Aldo Moro Murder Case as Politics” in George Kassimeris (ed.), Playing Politics with Terrorism (London: Hurst & Company and New York, Columbia University Press, 2007); “Il caso Moro: Trent’anni dopo. L’eredità del 1978 sulla politica e sulla cultura italiane,” Rivista di diritto pubblico italianocomunitario e comparato(June 2008)—republished in Salvatore Sechi (ed.), Le vene aperte del delitto Moro: TerrorismoPcitrame e servizisegreti (Florence: Mauro Pagliai, 2009); “Catholics and the Italian Revolutionary Left of the 1960s,” The Catholic Historical Review (July 2008)—republished as “I cattolici e la sinistra rivoluzionaria italiana degli anni Sessanta,” Nuova Storia Contemporanea, September-October 2009; “Reflections on the War on Terror: A Corrective from the Pages of History,” The New Centennial Review (fall 2008); “Palmiro Togliatti, impresario culturale dellarivoluzione,” Nuova Storia Contemporanea, September-October 2008, and “Apostoli del meridionalismo: Crisi del liberalismo e marxismo nella Napoli post-risorgimentale,” Nuova Storia Contemporanea, January-February 2011; “Charles Beard and the English Historians, Constitutional Commentary (vol. 29, no. 3, 2014); “Allies against Empire: Robert la Follette and Albert Jay Nock Opposed War from Left and Right,” The American Conservative (May/June 2015); “Italy’s Response to the Challenge of Terrorism during the Years of Lead, 1969-1985,” Tiempo Devorado (on-line Spanish journal, 2016); “Aldo Moro, l’Italia e l’impero americano,” Mondo ContemporaneoRivista di Storia, May 2016; “Reflections on the 100th Anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement.” Interview conducted by, an independent media outreach organization (May 2016);“Left-Wing Populism Meets ‘La Grande Crisi’: Making Sense of Italy’s Five-Star Movement,” first published online on March 12, 2018 at and then in May 2018 in the print edition of  New Labor Forum; “The Crisis of University Research,” The American Scholar, Autumn 2019, and “The Changing Landscape of Intellectual History,” South Central Review“ Spring 2022.  

He has published more than one hundred book reviews. They have appeared in The Journal of Modern History, The Catholic Historical Review, The American Historical Review, Terrorism and Political Violence, History of Education Quarterly, Labor History, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, Italica, The European Legacy, The Journal of Cold War Studies, The Canadian Journal of History, The Political Science Quarterly, The International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, TDR (The Drama Review), Mondo Contemporaneo, H-Italy, Washington Decoded, and Passport: The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Review. He has reviewed manuscripts for presses at Indiana University, Harvard University, the University of North Carolina, the University of California, Catholic University of America, Yale University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Nebraska as well as for numerous scholarly journals. He has presented papers at the Mershon Center of Ohio State University, the American Historical Association, the New England Historical Association, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, the American Catholic Historical Association, the Duquesne History Forum, the Department of State in Washington, D. C., the Council of European Studies in Washington, D. C., the Modern Language Association, the Davis Center at Princeton University, the Center for International Studies at Princeton University, the Seminar on Studies in Modern Italy at Columbia University, the International Society for the Study of European Ideas Conference at the University of Navarra in Spain, Oxford University’s Rothermere Center, Ruskin College (Oxford), the University of Virginia, the Robinson Jeffers Association, and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and The Progressive conference celebrating the 100th anniversary of Robert M. La Follette’s 1924 Third-Party Campaign for the Presidency. He has served on the Advisory Council for the Society for Italian Historical Studies, as its vice-president in 2009 to 2010, and as its president from 2011 to 2013.

His journalism and op-ed pieces have appeared in Counterpunch, The Progressive, The Progressive onlineThe Washington Report on Middle East AffairsThe History News NetworkThe Daily Call, The American Conservative, The American Conservative online, The Missoulian, and The Great Falls Tribune
He worked as an on-screen expert and the chief historical consultant for two television documentaries: “Lucrezia Borgia” for Biography (first televised 3 April 1997) and “The Curse of the Borgias” for Ancient Mysteries (first televised 5 June 1997). Both programs have been rebroadcast on the History Channel numerous times.

From 1987 to 2018 he served as the coordinator of the President’s Lecture Series at the University of Montana, under the auspices of which eight to ten speakers representing the full range of fields in the arts, sciences, and the humanities were invited to campus every year. In this series he was responsible for recruiting speakers, overseeing arrangements for their visits, and developing themes for their lectures and seminars on campus. He served as the Faculty Evaluation Committee chairman for the History Department from1996 to 2004, a job that entailed assembling work-related information about his colleagues and writing annual reports about them. He was the History Department chairman from January 2007 until August 2010. His service to the campus and community includes numerous guest lectures, participation on panels, and committees. Among his undergraduate courses are the Western Civilization Survey: 1715-Present, the Great Historians: From the Ancient Greeks to the Present, Italy from Dante to Napoleon, Italy from Napoleon to the Present, Terrorism from the French Revolution to the Present, Nineteenth-Century European Cultural and Intellectual History, Twentieth-Century European Cultural and Intellectual History, and Contemporary Europe, and Ideas and Movements in American and European History (an advanced writing seminar). He has taught three graduate-level courses: Modern Europe: The French Revolution to the Present, European Cultural and Intellectual History: Theory and Practice, and the American Empire. He has taught six courses in UM’s MOLLI program for non-traditional students: The Soul of Europe Today, The American Empire, Critics of the American Empire, The Great Political Traditions, Charles Austin Beard: the Economic Interpretation of History and Understanding American Politics Today, and Terrorism and Literature. 

He won the Burlington Northern Award for Teaching in 1989, and the graduating seniors of 1991 selected him as the Most Inspirational Teacher. In April 2009, he won the Tom Boone Town-Gown Award, which is given to faculty members who foster a deeper understanding between the University and Missoula. Among his other honors are the Aldo Moro Fellowship (summer 1972), a Fulbright Fellowship to Rome in 1972-1973, and an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship in 1982-1983. In 2006, he began a three-year term of service on the Fulbright Fellowship screening committee for the Western Region; scheduling conflicts caused two interruptions in this term, which ended in 2011. He also has served on the screening committees for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies. In 2019, he completed a three-year term on the Helen and Howard R. Marraro Book Prize Committee for the American Historical Association. He has been an external reviewer on the examining committee for entry into the doctoral program in Political Science at l’Università degliStudi Roma Tre. At a ceremony in Helena on 24 February 2011, he received the Governor’s Humanities Medal, in recognition of his dedication to the humanistic tradition. In the spring of 2011, the Richard Drake writing awards were established at UM in recognition of the thirty years that he had spent in the classroom helping students to become better writers.

Contact information:

Telephone: (406) 243-2981
e-mail: [email protected]
Updated May 22, 2024

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