Robert J. Allison is Professor of History at Suffolk University in Boston and also teaches history at the Harvard Extension School. He graduated from the Harvard Extension School with an ALB before earning a PhD in the History of American Civilization at Harvard in 1992. Allison received the Harvard Extension School's Petra Shattuck Distinguished Teaching Award in 1997, the Suffolk University Student Government Association's Distinguished Faculty Award in 2006, and the Suffolk University Outstanding Faculty Award in 2007. His books include The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim World, 1776–1815 (2000); A Short History of Boston (2004); Stephen Decatur, American Naval Hero (2005); The Boston Massacre (2006); The Boston Tea Party (2007); and A Short History of Cape Cod (2010). For The Teaching Company, he taped the thirty-six lecture series, “Before 1776: Life in Colonial America,” (2009). He has edited books on American history spanning from the colonial period to the twentieth century. Allison was a consultant to the Commonwealth Museum at the State Archives in Boston, and he is on the board of overseers of the USS Constitution Museum in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He is vice president of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, an elected fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and president of the South Boston Historical Society.