Joseph Conlin was born in Philadelphia and educated at Villanova University (A.B.) and the University of Wisconsin (M.A., Ph.D.). He taught American history at half a dozen colleges and universities, spending most of his career at California State University, Chico. He was a Fulbright Professor in Rome and Salzburg and was twice Visiting Senior Lecturer at the Social History Centre at Warwick University, England. For 30 years (60 semesters), with a few subtracted for sabbaticals, he taught between one and four sections of the United States history survey course each term, a total of about 200 times. He won four awards for excellence in teaching. Conlin has written a dozen books, about 70 articles in scholarly journals and magazines of popular history, some 100 book reviews in a variety of journals, and more newspaper journalism than he can or cares to remember. Several of his published essays and one book were awarded "best of the year" prizes.