Interview with Rollie Adams

George Rollie Adams is a writer, educator, historian, and storyteller. He grew up in southern Arkansas and taught there for a time after college. He holds two degrees in social science education from Louisiana Tech University and a doctorate in American history from the University of Arizona. His undergraduate studies included English as a second major.

After graduate school, Adams worked for the American Association for State and Local History in Nashville, Tennessee, where he managed national museum training programs and crisscrossed the country researching potential National Historic Landmarks for the National Park Service. While at the AASLH, he cowrote a pictorial history of Nashville and coedited a book of essays on social history. Later, he served as executive director of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society in New York and as director of the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans. In conjunction with the latter position, he was also an assistant secretary for the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. Subsequently, Adams served for many years as president and CEO of the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. During that time, he completed a biography of General William S. Harney, one of the best known-military figures in nineteenth-century America prior to the Civil War.

Choice called his Harney biography, “an excellent book, expertly documented, and nicely written.” The reviewer for the Journal of American History termed it “a vivid portrayal.” The reviewer for the Denver Westerners said it “reads like a novel.” And the Army Historical Foundation named it a finalist for its 2001 Distinguished Book Award.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019