Alan Shaw Taylor was born in 1955 in Portland, Maine. He graduated from Colby College in Waterville, Maine in 1977. He went on to earn his PhD. from Brandeis University in 1986. He has become a professor of history at the University of California. He is best known for his contributions to microhistory which he demonstrated in his Pulitzer Prize winning history of William Cooper and the settlement of Cooperstown, New York. In this work, Alan Taylor uses court records, land records, letters and diaries to reconstruct the economic, political and socila history of New England and the settlement of New York. He is also a regular contributor of book reviews and essays to The New Republic. His books include William Cooper's Town: Power & Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic, which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for history and the Bancroft Prize in American History. In 2014, he once again won the Pulitzer Prize for History in his title: The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832.