Ray Arsenault is a historian, writer, and teacher whose work focuses on Florida and the American South. His book Freedom Riders became the basis for the 2010 public television documentary event of the same title, and his book St. Petersburg and the Florida Dream is perhaps the most authoritative history of the region ever written.
Though his work has influenced mainstream consciousness, Arsenault is a rigorous scholar, who graduated from Princeton in 1969 and earned a Ph.D. at Brandeis in 1981. He has taught at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg since 1980, where he has been instrumental in the Florida Studies Program. He has lectured on American history and culture around the world, and received multiple awards for his scholarly work.
Arsenault’s other books include Crucible of Liberty: 200 Years of the Bill of Rights and The Wild Ass of the Ozarks: Jeff Davids and the Social Bases of Southern Politics.
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