Research Spotlight: Professors Rewrite Ohio History, Creating a “First-rate” Reference

Book based on new interdisciplinary scholarship, published by Wiley Blackwell

The University of Akron has a long and illustrious history in the scholarship of, well, history. Specifically, UA is known internationally for its expertise on its home state – expertise that stretches from Ohio’s post-glacial period to the state’ current status as a highly influential player in U.S. politics.

Drs. Kevin Kern and Gregory Wilson, associate professors of history at UA, turned to the latest scholarship in geology, archaeology, history and political science to produce Ohio: A History of the Buckeye State. It was published this fall by Wiley Blackwell of Boston.

Hailed by Purdue University’s Professor R. Douglas Hurt as “the best book on Ohio’s history in more than a generation,” Kern’s and Wilson’s new volume builds on UA’s long-recognized prominence in the research of Ohio history that Professor Emeritus George Knepper established during his distinguished and groundbreaking career. 

However, Kern and Wilson do not rest on Knepper’s laurels. The duo has uncovered the latest scholarship from documents, archaeology, geology and political science to create the first interdisciplinary survey of Ohio history designed specifically for use in college-level courses,

Kern and Wilson “have produced a very readable and accessible text…with well-chosen illustrations and maps,” according to the review in the Beacon Journal.  Kern and Wilson augment the standard chronological narrative with thematic chapters weaving together major social, economic, and political trends over time, which makes it a pleasure to read.

The book may be purchased through UA bookstores, literary web sites and publisher Wiley Blackwell at