David Haward Bain

Senior Lecturer in English and American Literatures

 Fall Term: Monday and Wednesday 2:00-4:00 and by appointment

WEBSITE: http://www.davidhbain.com


The Old Iron Road: An Epic of Rails, Roads, and the Urge to Go West, Viking Press (cloth), May 2004; Penguin, May 2005.

Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad, Viking Press (cloth), November 1999; Penguin, September 2000. Main selection, Book of the Month Club; selection, History Book Club, Quality Paperback Book Club (2000). Finalist, Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History); Finalist, Bancroft Prize, Society of American Historians. 2000 Book Prize, New England Historical Association; George W. and Constance W. Hilton Book Award, National Railway and Locomotive History Society, 2001. A New York Times Notable Book.

The College on the Hill: A Browser's History for the Bicentennial, Middlebury College Press (cloth), October 1999.

Whose Woods These Are: A Group Portrait of Celebrated Writers in Community -- The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 1926-1992, The Ecco Press, 1993.

Sitting In Darkness: Americans in the Philippines, Houghton Mifflin (cloth), 1984; Penguin (paperback, with new material), 1986. Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award, 1985.

Aftershocks: A Tale of Two Victims, Methuen (cloth), 1980; Penguin (paperback, with new material), 1986.

A History of the Town of Orwell, Vermont (edited with some original material by D.H.B.). Third Revised Edition. Orwell Historical Society, 2001.

Patalano, G. R., Behind the Iron Horse (edited and with Foreword by D.H.B.), Vermont Historical Society/Vermont Labor History Society, 1997.

At an Elevation: On the Poetry of Robert Pack (edited with Sydney Landon Plum), Middlebury College Press, 1994.

In Progress:

Sea of Wonder, book on 19th century naval explorations, under contract to Viking Press.

Best Be Getting Home: Essays on Writers, Writing, and Place -- one-half completed.


"Bookends," essay about Edmund Wilson, Alexander Woollcott, and William "Count" Basie, in progress.

"Camden Bound," personal/literary essay about Camden, NJ. (Walt Whitman deathplace; present author's birthplace). Prairie Schooner, Fall 1998. Selected for The Best of Prairie Schooner Essays (ed. Raz & Flaherty), U. Nebraska Press, 2000.

"The House on Hemenway Hill," essay, Prairie Schooner, Winter 1996. Reader's Choice Award, 1997. Among year's top 100 essays selected by series editor Robert Atwan for consideration in Best American Essays 1997.

"Asa Whitney: America's Pioneer Railroad Promoter," in circulation.

"His: Mulch Ado About Nothing" (Mowing Lawns) (essay), Glamour, August 1996.

"His: Hating Sports," (essay), Glamour, March 1995.

"A House and a Household: Sinclair Lewis and Dorothy Thompson," Kenyon Review, Summer 1989. Reprinted in Pack and Parini (eds.), The Bread Loaf

Anthology of Contemporary American Essays, University Press of New England, 1989.

"Frederick Funston: The Acerbic Warrior," Smithsonian, May 1989.

"In the Land of the Green Giants," Mabuhay Philippine Airlines, February 1988. COVER.

"A Trek Through Time," MD Magazine , September 1986.

"In Funston's Footsteps," Mabuhay Philippine Airlines, September 1987.

"Letter From Manila: How the Press Helped to Dump a Despot," Columbia Journalism Review, May-June 1986. COVER.

"Bread Loaf at Sixty," Middlebury, Spring 1985.

"The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference 1983," Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook:1984, Gale, 1985.

"Augusto Sandino: The Man Who Made the Yanquis Go Home," American Heritage, August-September 1985. Reprinted in Andrew C. Kimmens (ed.), Nicaragua and the United States, H.W. Wilson, 1987.


“American Massacre: The Tragedy of Mountain Meadows (Sally Denton),” review, New York Times Book Review, September 27, 2003.

“The Santa Fe Trail (David Dary),” review, New York Times Book Review, Fall 2000.

"Sights Once Seen: Daguerreotyping Fremont's Last Expedition Through the Rockies (Robert Shlaer)," review, New York Times Book Review, May 7 2000.

"A Newer World: Kit Carson, John C. Fremont, and the Claiming of the American West (David Roberts)," review, New York Times Book Review, 27 February 2000.

"Exiles: Three Short Novels (Philip Caputo)," review, New York Times Book Review, 10 August 1997.

"A Vatican Lifeline (Simpson)," review, New York Times Book Review, 23 June 1996.

"Finding Moon (Tony Hillerman)," review, New York Times Book Review, 22 October 1995.

"Highways to a War" (Koch)," review, New York Times Book Review, July 1995.

"Railroads of Vermont, vol. III (Jones)," review, Vermont History, Summer 1995.

"Cuba and the Night (Pico Iyer)," review, New York Times Book Review, April 1995.

"This Bloody Deed: The Magruder Incident (Hamilton)," review, New York Times Book Review, 30 October 1994.

"The Vacant Chair: The Northern Soldier Leaves Home (Mitchell)," review, New York Times Book Review, 12 June 1994.

"Zephyr: Tracking a Dream Across America (Henry Kisor)," review, New York Times Book Review, 20 March 1994.

"Railroads of Vermont, vol. II (Jones)," Vermont History, Spring 1994.

"Reconciliation Road: A Family Odyssey of War and Honor (Marshall)," New York Times Book Review, 2 January 1994.

"Railroads of Vermont, vol. I (Jones)," Vermont History, Winter 1993.

"Many Thousand Gone: African Americans From Slavery to Freedom (Hamilton)," New York Times Book Review, February 1993.

"This Terrible Sound: The Battle of Chickamauga (Cozzens)," New York Times Book Review, 29 November 1992.

"What's In It For Me? (Stedino-Matera)," review, New York Times Book Review, 25 October 1992.

"The Fire Eaters (Walther)," review, New York Times Book Review, Fall 1992.

"The Civil War in the American West (Alvin Josephy)," review, New York Times Book Review, 8 March 1992.

"The Dragon and the Cross: The Rise and Fall of the Ku Klux Klan in Middle America (Tucker)," review, New York Times Book Review, 5 January 1992.

"Witness to an Era: The Life and Photographs of Alexander Gardner (Katz)," review, New York Times Book Review, 16 June 1991.

"Red Cap (Wisler)/The Ghost Cadet (Alphin)," review, New York Times Book Review, 19 May 1991.

"Tucker's Last Stand (William F. Buckley, Jr.), New York Times Book Review, 17 February 1991.

"The Civil War: An Illustrated History (Geoffrey Ward, Ken Burns, & Ric Burns)," review, New York Times Book Review, September 1990.

"The Westies: Inside the Hell's Kitchen Irish Mob (English)," review, New York Times Book Review, 8 April 1990.

"Mother, May You Never See the Sights I Have Seen: The 57th Massachusetts Veteran Volunteers in the Army of the Potomac 1864-65 (Wilkinson)," review, New York Times Book Review, February 1990.

"Kings of Cocaine (Gugliotta and Leen)," review, New York Times Book Review, 30 April 1989.

"The American Civil War and the Origins of Modern Warfare (Hagerman), review, New York Times Book Review, March 1989.

"In Our Own Image (Stanley Karnow)," review, Newsday, March 1989. FRONT PAGE.

"A Few Good Men (Overgard)," review, New York Times Book Review, January 1989.

"Liberty Under Siege (Walter Karp)," review, Washington Post Book World, 1 January 1989.

"Richard Wright: Daemonic Genius (Margaret Walker)," review, Newsday.

"The Marcos Dynasty (Sterling Seagrave)," review, Newsday, 6 November 1988. FRONT PAGE.

"The Marcos Dynasty (Seagrave)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 30 October 1989.

"Recollections of a Life (Alger Hiss)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 29 May 1988.

"Rice Wine (Came)," review, New York Times Book Review, 3 April 1988.

"Merchants of Death: The American Tobacco Industry (White), review, Newsday, May 1988.

"Blowback (Simpson)," review, Newsday, May 1988.

"Union Pacific: Birth of a Railroad (Maury Klein), Philadelphia Inquirer, 27 December 1987.

"Out on the Rim (Thomas)," review, Newsday, 18 October 1987.

"Worth Dying For (Simons), Inside the Philippine Revolution (Chapman)," review, Washington Post Book World, 23 October 1987. SYNDICATED.

"John Ciardi: Measure of the Man (Vince Clemente)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 23 August 1987.

"The Four Days of Courage (Johnson)," review, New York Times Book Review, June 1987.

"Imelda Marcos (Pedrosa), The Marcos File (McDougald)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 28 June 1987. FRONT PAGE.

"Waltzing With a Dictator (Raymond Bonner)," review, Newsday, 17 May 1987. FRONT PAGE.

"Corazon Aquino (Komisar)," review, Los Angeles Times Book Review, 10 May 1987. FRONT PAGE.

"Retaking the Philippines (Bruer)," review, Los Angeles Times Book Review, December 1986.

"Crisis in the Philippines (Bresnan)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 14 December 1986. FRONT PAGE.

"The Heist (Volkman and Cummings)," review, Newsday, 20 October 1986.

"War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (Dower)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 13 July 1986. FRONT PAGE.

"The Korean War: Pusan to Chosin (Knox)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2 February 1986.

"On the Road with Charles Kuralt (Kuralt)," review, TV Guide, 3 August 1985.

"Hiroshima Maidens (Barker)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 4 August 1985. FRONT PAGE.

"Maverick: Fifty Years of Investigative Reporting (Fred Cook)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 17 February 1985.

"Kate Quinton's Days (Susan Sheehan)," review, New York Times Book Review, 4 November 1984.

"Payback: Five Marines After Vietnam (Klein)," review, Newsday, 29 October 1984.

"The Good War (Studs Terkel)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 21 October 1984. FRONT PAGE.

"The Spanish War (O'Toole)," review, St. Petersburg Times, 21 October 1984.

"Endless Enemies (Jonathan Kwitny)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 7 October 1984.

"Long Time Passing (MacPherson) and Touched With Fire (Wheeler)," review, St. Petersburg Times, 2 September 1984.

"The Nation Thief (Robert Houston)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 1 April 1984.

"The Nation Thief (Houston)," review, St. Petersburg Times, 8 April 1984.

"Aftermath (Downs)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 18 March 1984.

"Libby Holman: Body and Soul (Perry), review, Philadelphia Inquirer, February 1984.

"Louis Armstrong (James Lincoln Collier)," review, St. Petersburg Times, 20 November 1983.

"A Country Such as This (James Webb)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer 13 November 1983.

"The Passionate War: Narrative History of the Spanish Civil War (Peter Wyden)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 17 July 1983. FRONT PAGE.

"Widows (Ariel Dorfman)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10 July 1983. FRONT PAGE.

"Roughneck: Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood (Carlson)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 22 May 1983.

"When Tigers Fight: The Sino-Japanese War 1937-1945 (Wilson)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 5 September 1982.

"Is There No Place on Earth for Me? (Susan Sheehan)," review, Philadelphia Inquirer, 28 March 1982.

"The Islands (Emily Hahn)," review, Newsday, 17 January 1982.

"The Islands (Hahn)," review, Baltimore Sun, 11 October 1981.

"Douglas MacArthur: The Philippine Years (Carol Morris Petillo)," review, Los Angeles Times Book Review, 22 November 1981.

"A Death in California (Joan Barthel)," review, Newsday, 23 August 1981.

"The Ohio Gang: World of Warren G. Harding (Mee)," review, Newsday, 23 August 1981.

"The Park is Mine (Peters)," review, Newsday, 6 August 1981.

"The Healer (Levitt)," review, Newsday, 16 October 1980.

"A Gentlemen's Agreement Not to Drop a Dime," feature, Newsday, 1979.

"How to Dub 'Aaargh!' Into English," feature, New York Times Arts and Leisure, 2 July 1978.


(802) 948-2239 (weekdays 388-0395)




Born 23 February 1949, Camden, New Jersey. Raised in Port Washington, New York. Married 6 June 1981 to Mary Smyth Duffy, a painter (deceased 9/02). Daughter, Mimi Aitken Duffy Bain, born 18 October 1988; son, David Montrose Duffy Bain, born 17 March 1992.


B.S., Boston University College of Communication, 1971. Majored in Journalism and Political Science.


Lecturer (part-time), English Department, Middlebury College, 1987-present.

Assistant Editor, New England Review, Middlebury Series, 1990-1994.

Full-Time Writer between 1978-1987.

Senior Editor, Harmony Books div., Crown Publishers, March 1977-March 1978.

Editor, Stonehill Publishing, February 1976-February 1977.

Editorial Assistant, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., January 1973-February 1976.

Professional musician, June 1971-December 1972.


The History Channel, “Modern Marvels: Transcontinental Railroad,” one-hour documentary first aired June 2006. Principal commentator and consultant.

Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference 2006: history slidetalk.

Burlington Book Festival, June 2006, Burlington, VT. Slide lecture.

Slide Lecturer, Henry Sheldon Museum (Brown Bag Series), Middlebury, VT, February 2006.

Keynote Speaker, Paul Ward Prize Ceremony, Middlebury College, October 28, 2005.

Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference 2005: history slidetalk; craft talk on nonfiction.

Lecturer, “Immigration and Industrialization,” Teaching American History Summer Seminar, July 11-15 2005, Hildene National Historic Site, Manchester, VT (auspices of Castleton State College).

“National Radio Tour,” (remote-home hookups), 25 radio stations, June 2005. Penguin edition release, The Old Iron Road.

Keynote Speaker, Golden Spike National Historic Site, National Parks Service, Utah, May 10 2005 Anniversary.

Featured Lecturer, “Lincoln and the Railroads,” Conference, Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis, April 15-16, 2005.

Contributor, History Channel “Tech Effect” series segment on the transcontinental railroad, aired August 2004, and repeated thereafter.

Reading, The Old Iron Road, CSPAN-2, June 19 and 20, 2004, and repeated thereafter. Recorded at Ogden Union Station, May 10, 2004.

Read, lectured, and interviewed during 2-week The Old Iron Road book tour, May-June 2004: San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, Denver, Salt Lake City, Ogden, Omaha; 30 radio interviews nationally.

Critchlow Lecture, “Bernard DeVoto and Mark Twain and the Way Through the Crossroads,” Weber State University, October 2003.

Faculty, Nonfiction, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, August 2003.

Curator, “Mary Smyth Duffy: Retrospective,” art exhibit at Middlebury College, February 2003. (Reproduced at www.davidhbain.com/msdmainpage).

Speaker, The Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, FL, March 2003.

History in Public Places Committee, Middlebury College, 2002-2003.

Co-Producer, Transcontinental Railroad, WGBH “The American Experience” 2-hr. documentary, Mark Zwonitzer/Hidden Hill Productions, Aired Jan. 27, 2003, and many times thereafter on PBS.

Contributor, Bill Moyers’ Documentary, “The Chinese in America,” WNET-NY. Aired March 25, 2003, and many times thereafter on PBS.

Keynote Speaker, Golden Spike National Historic Site, National Parks Service, Utah, May 10 2002 Anniversary.

Main Contributor, KUED Public TV documentary, Promontory, Salt Lake City, Aired 2002.

Speaker, The Prologue Society, chapters in Palm Beach, No. Palm Beach, Stuart, Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (2001, 2002); Los Angeles, Mill Valley, CA (2001).

Contributor, The Green Mountain Trail, Vermont ETV documentary. Aired 2001.

Middlebury College Commons Event: Symposium on Vietnam Era, April 18, 2001. Panel member.

Speaker, “The Crossroads City: Ogden,” Ogden City Sesquicentennial, Utah State Railroad Museum, Union Station, Ogden, UT, March 2001.

Speaker, “Rails Into Ogden: Observing the 132nd Anniversary. Utah State Railroad Museum, Union Station, Ogden, UT, March 2001.

Contributor, MSNBC Documentary on history of American business: 3 part series. Aired March 2001.

Keynote Speaker, Louisiana State University (Shreveport), American Studies Symposium, February 2001.

Bicentennial History Project Editor, Middlebury College, 1997-2000

Lecturer, The Library of Congress, December 2000.

BookNotes Interview with Brian Lamb, CSPAN-TV, aired March 5, 2000 and repeated many times thereafter. Transcript published in Lamb, Booknotes: Stories from American History, 2001.

Speaker, Bread Loaf at 75 Celebration, National Arts Club, N.Y.C., February 2000.

Speaker, Abernethy Library Series, January 2000.

Read, lectured, and interviewed during 2-week book tour, November 1999: N.Y.C., Washington, D. C., St. Louis, Kansas City, Lincoln, Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Walnut Creek and Corte Madera (CA), South Hadley, MA, Port Washington, N.Y., Middlebury, VT.

Speaker, "Empire Express: The Transcontinental Railroad in Words and Images," Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 3 November 1999.

Speaker, "1898-1998, Spain & the Americas: Multiple Perspectives," Interdisciplinary Symposium hosted by Latin American and European Studies and the Department of Spanish at Middlebury College, 30-31 October 1998.

Member, Publications Committee, Vermont Historical Society, 1996-7.

Project Consultant and Editor, Vermont Historical Society, 1995-96

Historian, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Middlebury College, 1982 - ongoing

Member, Conference Director Selection Committee, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 1993-94

Member, Admissions/Editorial Board, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 1987-88, 1994-2000.

Editor, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference on the World Wide Web, 1995-99

Associate Faculty, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 1981-1989.

Faculty, Dorothy Canfield Fisher Writers Conference, Burlington, VT, 1992.

Keynote Speaker, Columbia University Center for American Culture Studies 3-event series ("The End of Empire: America Overseas in the 20th Century"), 5 April 1988.

Faculty, Sand Hills Writers' Conference, Augusta (GA) College, 1985 and 1988.

Faculty, New England Young Writers' Conference, 1987, 1989-91, 1993. 2003.

Editor, monthly newsletter, National Organization for Women-N.Y.C. Chapter, 1977-78.

Reader/screener for a number of movie production companies, 1977-1984.

Telephone crisis counselor, Hotline, Town of No. Hempstead, N.Y., 1973-82.

Professional musician, New England and New York, 1971-72, 1973-1984, 1996-.


Middlebury College Faculty Professional Development Fund, 2001, photography grant for The Old Iron Road.

Middlebury College Faculty Professional Development Fund, 2000, travel grant for The Old Iron Road.

Middlebury College Faculty Professional Development Fund, 1998, partial support, photography costs for book, Empire Express.

Middlebury College Faculty Professional Development Fund, 1998, research/travel grant to Omaha, Council Bluffs, and Lincoln, supporting book, Empire Express.

Middlebury College Faculty Professional Development Fund, 1997, research/travel grant supporting essay, "Red Bank Home: Edmund Wilson, Alexander Woollcott, William "Count” Basie."

Middlebury College Faculty Professional Development Fund, 1996, research/travel grant supporting essay, "Camden Bound."

Windham Foundation Grant, 1987, for Whose Woods These Are.

Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award, Honorable Mention, 1985, for Sitting in Darkness.

New York State Council on the Arts/P.E.N. American Center Grant, 1983, for Sitting in Darkness.

Lebensberger Foundation Grant, 1982, for Sitting in Darkness.

Mary Roberts Rinehart Foundation Grant, 1980, for Aftershocks.

Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Fellowship in Nonfiction, 1980, for Aftershocks.

Hearst Award for Excellence in Newswriting (national college writing competition), 1969.



Department of English & American Literatures

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753