Kevin Waite, Assistant Professor (Modern American History) in the Department of History at Durham University, is a political historian of the 19th century United States with a focus on slavery, imperialism, and the American West. His first book, West of Slavery: The Southern Dream of a Transcontinental Empire (UNC Press, 2021), is a study of slaveholding expansion in California and the Far Southwest. It explores how American Southerners extended their labor order and political vision across the continent, and in the process, triggered a series of conflicts that culminated in the Civil War. Professor Waite’s scholarly articles and book chapters have covered a wide range of subjects: manliness in Napoleonic-era English public schools; the political struggle over America’s first transcontinental railroad; the evolving myth of George Armstrong Custer in Hollywood film; the Civil War in Indian Territory; Reconstruction in the trans-Mississippi West; and the Confederate monuments of 20th-century California. He comments frequently on American history and politics for major media outlets.