Nixon and Sports: Author Background

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Nicholas Evan Sarantakes is an assistant professor in the department of history at Texas A&M University—Commerce. He is spending the current school year as a visiting professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Sarantakes is an award-winning writer and historian with a broad, eclectic background.  His main areas of interests are American political, diplomatic, and military history. He has done first rate academic writing, having his work appear in publications like the Journal of Sport History and Presidential Studies Quarterly. He received the H. Bailey Carroll Award from the Texas State Historical Association for a provocative article on Lyndon Johnson’s presidential campaign in 1960.  He has written five books. 

He has also proven to be adaptable in his prose.I like to think of myself as a writer with an academic degree rather than as an academic who writes," he remarked.  "Writing is a lot like running.  Different distances require different abilities.  A book is like a marathon and that requires skills of endurance, while writing for a newspaper is lot like a 100 meter dash, which demands speed and focus."  He has published for professional military audiences in publications like Infantry magazine, the Royal United Service Institute Journal and Joint Forces Quarterly magazine.  He has written guest editorials for newspapers like The Montgomery Advertiser, Austin American-Statesman, and the Arizona Daily Star.   

His magazine feature work has appeared on and in Texas Alcalde magazine.  He was a reporter and an editor on the staff of The Daily Texan—at the time the largest and best college paper in the country, and the seventh largest daily in the state of Texas.  He was also a Junior Fellow at the Library of Congress in its newspapers and periodicals division.  He has also done grip work for the Houston bureau of Fox Sports Southwest.  His next book is on the boycott of the 1980 Olympics, which is tentatively titled Political Games: How the Battle Between Jimmy Carter and Lord Killanin Over the 1980 Olympics Restarted the Cold War.

Sarantakes created the well-regarded U.S. Diplomatic History Resources Index, a major clearing of material on the world wide web of use to individuals with an interest in U.S. foreign policy, which has drawn praise from observers as diverse as Fox News and The Washington Post.  In 2004 he was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society and is also a member of the National Football League Alumni Association.  He received his B.A. from the University of Texas where he studied under Robert A. Divine and Walt W. Rostow.  He earned his M.A. from the University of Kentucky, and wrote his thesis under the direction of George C. Herring, Jr..  He received a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California after working with Roger Dingman. He has taught at Austin Community College, Texas A&M University—Commerce, the University of Salford in England, the U.S. Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, and the University of Southern Mississippi.

His main hobbies are snow skiing and backpacking.  In addition to hitting the slopes at a number of different resorts in the United States, he has skied in New Zealand and Scotland.  An Eagle Scout, he is also a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, the official honor organization in Scouting.  He spent several summers in the 1980s, working as a backpacking guide as a member of the Ranger Department at the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico.