In our age of specialization, it is rare for a professor to work and publish in more than one academic field of study, but East Georgia State College’s Dr. H. Lee Cheek, Jr., is an exception to the rule. As a political scientist, Dr. Cheek focuses on American political thought and American politics. According to his own account, he is an “old school” student of politics who uses history to help students and others understand government. Last month, Rice University, OpenStax, and the Bill of Rights Institute published a groundbreaking new American history textbook, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and Cheek is a contributing author of the volume. It is believed that the work serves as the new standard in AP history textbooks for OpenStax and will receive many college adoptions.
Cheek comments: “While I am not an historian and have never claimed to be an historian--although with much graduate course work and publications in the field--I was honored to be asked to be part of this project.” The book is Cheek’s second published textbook for classroom use.
Dr. Cheek holds a Ph.D. in politics, with a general focus on American political development, and with a particular concentration on Nineteenth Century America (Ph.D., Politics, The Catholic University of America, 1998). He possesses a M.Div. from Duke University where he focused on historical emphases in his coursework. Cheek is the author of the forthcoming Recovering the American Founding (Notre Dame University Press, 2022), a book that is a study of the historical development of the Early Republic. He is the editor of Patrick Henry-Onslow Debate: Republicanism and Liberty in American Political Thought (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2013) a series of historical texts with a commentary, which has been reviewed exclusively in historical journals.
Dr. Cheek is also the author or editor of numerous other works that are in the field of or closely related to America historical studies including John C. Calhoun’s A Disquisition on Government (South Bend, Indiana: St. Augustine’s Press, 2007; second edition, 2016); Calhoun: Selected Writings and Speeches (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Books, 2003); and his most well-known work, Calhoun and Popular Rule (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, June 2001), a work that was either a finalist or semi-finalist for numerous historical organization awards, including The Genovese Award, The Historical Society (finalist); the Merle Curti Award in Intellectual History, Organization of American Historians (nominated); and the D. B. Hardeman Prize, Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation (nominated) [partial list].
As a journal and manuscript referee in the field of American history, Cheek’s expertise has been solicited from and provided to University of Kentucky Press, Continuum Books, Journal of Social History, Fides et Historia, Lexington Books, and the University of Missouri Press. As a book reviewer, Cheek has contributed to Choice (five reviews per year), History: Review of New Books, and his editorial advisory board assignments include Studies in Burke, as well as other historically related journals. He is a member of these professional historical organizations as well, including the Conference on Faith and History (1990-present); Society for Albanian Studies (1983-present); and the Society of Early Americanists (1998-present).