1. Education
Robert McNamara

Robert McNamara

Follow me on:

Robert J. McNamara, your Guide to 19th Century History, first became obsessed with history during a childhood spent partly in western Maryland, not far from the battlefield at Antietam.

As a journalist living in New York City, Robert spent many hours researching aspects of the city's history and visiting historic locations.

Recently he has been researching the history of a rural corner of Ireland, a project which began with some modest genealogical research and has snowballed into a book project.


Robert spent years working in the magazine business in New York City. One of his earliest jobs was as a staffer at Rolling Stone.

In the early years of the web, Robert was recruited to be a telecommuting editor for Amazon.com, a stint that lasted for more than six years. He was the company's first nonfiction editor and later its history editor.

While working for Amazon.com he reviewed a number of history books and interviewed historians and authors including Taylor Branch, Leon Litwack, Tony Horwitz, and Greil Marcus.


Robert studied history and journalism at New York University.

By Robert McNamara:

Interest in Irish history led me to research my own ancestors a few years ago, and I was startled by how much I could discover using microfilmed copies of Irish parish records. I followed up by making several trips to rural Ireland. And in a rectory in County Clare I was able to examine the handwritten ledger begun in 1816 by a parish priest.

Reading the baptismal record of my grandfather's grandfather, who was born in 1824, was a great thrill. It was like finding my own personal Smithsonian.

I believe history should be a living adventure. And I feel fortunate to be the Guide for the 19th Century, an amazingly lively period. I hope you'll find my work to be illuminating and entertaining.

A note to publishers: I do not work at the About.com office in New York City, and while I appreciate receiving review copies, it's best to contact me first to confirm my correct mailing address.

Robert on Social Networks:

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.