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Joseph J. Ellis, a professor of history at Mount Holyoke College, is a nationally recognized scholar of American history from colonial times through the early decades of the "Republic." The author of seven books, he is recipient of the National Book Award in Nonfiction for "American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson" (1997) and the Pulitzer Prize for "Founding Brothers" (2000). His most recent book is "His Excellency: George Washington" (Knopf, 2004). He lives in Massachusetts.