Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel is the culmination of a lifetime spent examining contemporary American culture (beginning with watching Spider-Man on The Electric Company and teaching myself to read so that I could enjoy comic books). What If? #3 -- a vastly underrated issue of a vastly underrated Marvel series -- changed my worldview as a kid, getting me excited about history in its re-imagining of the superhero universe.

Comic books turned me into a reader and created the need to write. My love for history grew as I encountered a series of great teachers who fostered a love for the topic.

Bob Batchelor, historian and biographer

Bob Batchelor, historian and biographer

Fast-forward to the present, and I am a cultural historian and biographer. In my career, I have written or edited 29 books on contemporary American culture, including Mad Men: A Cultural History, John Updike: A Critical Biography, and Gatsby: The Cultural History of the Great American Novel.

I have also enjoyed bringing other writers' books into the world as an editor. Much of this work has been through editing a handful of book series for Rowman & Littlefield, including “Contemporary American Literature,” “Sports Icons and Issues in Popular Culture,” “100 Greatest…,” “Great Authors/Great Books,” and “The Cultural History of Television.” All told, these series have produced dozens of books.

I teach at Miami University in the Media, Journalism & Film department. My courses focus on strategic communications and writing. My classes often conduct service-learning work for nonprofit organizations and businesses.

Though I have spent most of my time researching, writing, and editing books, I have also published quite a bit in journals and anthologies, including Radical History Review, The Journal of American Culture, The Mailer Review, The American Prospect Online, The John Updike Review, and Public Relations Review, as well as dozens of essays in books and monographs.

Before teaching, I worked for more than a decade in corporate communications for a number of large companies, including Ernst & Young, FleishmanHillard, and Bank of America, as well as The History Factory, where I served as Senior Historian.

My corporate marketing and public relations career centered on internal communications, focusing on executive communications and technology. At FleishmanHillard, our team (my role was Senior Writer) won the 2001 PRSA Silver Anvilin B2B Marketing for Documentum (now part of EMC). Over the past 12 years, I have consulted with numerous organizations on a variety of projects, from book marketing and media relations to writing and strategic planning. I am particularly interested in corporate history and have helped organizations find ways to make their pasts come alive, including web site content and the creation of corporate museums and exhibits.

My undergraduate degrees are in History, Philosophy, and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. I earned a master's degree in American History from Kent State University, where I studied with eminent NATO historian Lawrence S. Kaplan. I earned a doctorate in English Literature at the University of South Florida, studying with noted film and literature scholar Phillip Sipiora.