Michael A. Palmer


  • Ph.D., Temple
  • Phone: 252-328-1023
  • Office: Brewster A-322
  • Email: palmerm@ecu.edu

Dr. Michael A. Palmer is a professor of history with the Program in Maritime Studies at East Carolina University. Professor Palmer earned his Ph.D. from Temple University in 1981 where he studied under the late Russell F. Weigley. His research and teaching interests include maritime, military, and diplomatic history, the founding of the American republic, and involvement of the United States in the Middle East since the eighteenth century.

Between 1983 and 1991, Professor Palmer worked at the Naval Historical Center in Washington, DC. He served as an assistant editor of The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History series. In 1986 he transferred to the Contemporary History Branch. In the summer of 1988 he worked as a field historian in the Persian Gulf, where he focused on the operations of Special Forces. In the fall of 1990 during Operation Desert Shield, Palmer worked in OP-603—the staff of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations' (OPNAV) Strategic Concepts Group in the Pentagon.

Professor Palmer has received the Department of the Navy's Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature, from the Naval Order of the United States, and the Moncado Prize from the Society for Military History.

Selected Publications

Command at Sea: Naval Command and Control since the Sixteenth Century. New York: Harvard University Press, 2005.

Lee Moves North: Robert E. Lee on the Offensive. New York: John Wiley, 1998.

Guardians of the Gulf: A History of America’s Expanding Role in the Persian Gulf, 1833-1992. New York: The Free Press, 1992.

On Course for Desert Storm: The U.S. Navy and the Persian Gulf. Washington: Naval Historical Center, 1992.

Origins of the Maritime Strategy: American Naval Strategy in the First Postwar Decade. Washington: Naval Historical Center, 1988; Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1990.

Stoddert’s War: Naval Operations during the Quasi-War with France, 1798-1801. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1987; Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2000.

Courses Offered

HIST 1050: American History to 1877
HIST 1051: American History since 1877
HIST 3215: American Revolution and the Federal Era, 1763–1800
HIST 3260: United States and the Middle East, 1783 to the Present
HIST 3350: War and Society
HIST 5525: Sea Power, 480 BC to the Present
HIST 6025: American Revolution and Early Republic
HIST 6180: Diplomatic History of the United States to 1898
HIST 6181: Diplomatic History of the United States since 1898
HIST 6210: War and Society
HIST 6260: United States and the Middle East, 1783 to the Present
HIST 6910: Seminar in American History