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A Cabrini student in front of Independence Hall

James Hedtke, PhD

Professor, History and Political Science

Since joining the History and Political Science Department in 1973, James Hedtke, PhD, has extensively published and presented his research to local and international audiences. 

An expert on the American presidency, the Civil War, and World War II, Hedtke has been a featured guest on multiple programs including WHYY Newsworks Tonight, POTUS 2016(CUNY), NBC10 In Focus, and the Christian Science Monitor.

His research interests include the American presidency, the United States Civil War, and World War II, as well as research on the Freckleton Air Disaster, which took place in 1944 when a United States Army Air Force B-24 Liberator crashed into the center of the English village of Freckleton, Lancashire.

Hedtke's book, The Freckleton, England, Air Disaster, was published (McFarland Publishing) in December 2013.

He has authored three other books, American Civil War: Facts and Fictions,  Lame Duck Presidents: Myth or Reality, and Civil War Professional Soldiers, Citizen Soldiers and Native American Soldiers of Genesee County, New York: Ordinary Men of Valor, the latter of which he edited and researched with students.

He writes book reviews for Choice, a higher education magazine, and is a member of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education (SEPCHE) Speaker’s Bureau.

He also has made numerous presentations to area audiences on the presidency, terrorism, and the American Civil War, including one at the Pennsylvania Civil War Show commemorating the war’s 150th anniversary.

Hedtke earned a bachelor's degree from Saint Joseph’s University, a master’s from Villanova University, and a PhD from Temple University.

Areas of Expertise

American presidency; electoral college; lame duck presidents; the United States Civil War including general Emory Upton who is considered the father of the modern army; World War II including the letters of Brad McManus and the Freckleton Air Disaster

Publications

Books

  • American Civil War: Facts and Fictions. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 2018.
  • The Freckleton, England, Air Disaster. Jefferson, NC. McFarland Publishing, 2014.
  • Civil War Professional Soldiers, Citizen Soldiers and Native American Soldiers of Genesee County, New York:  Ordinary Men of Valor, Lewiston, NY:  The Edwin Mellen Press, 2006.
  • Lame Duck Presidents-Myth or Reality, Lewistown, NY:  The Edwin Mellen Press, 2002.

Other

  • “Kevin McHale”. Irish Americans: The History and Culture of a People. Santa Barbara: ABC CLIO, 2015.
  • “Thomas Nast”. Irish Americans: The History and Culture of a People. Santa Barbara: ABC CLIO, 2015.
  • “Timothy Russert”. Irish Americans: The History and Culture of a People. Santa Barbara: ABC CLIO, 2015.
  • “Air Disaster At Freckleton”. WWII History. McClean, VA: Sovereign Media, December, 2014, pp. 34-39.
  • “Can a Lame Duck Soar?”  The Ripon Forum   (February/March, 2007).
  • “Bush’s Second Term: Can Lame Ducks Soar?” The Augusta Chronicle. Augusta, GA: Knight Ridder (February 26, 2005), p. A05.
  • Political Columnist for the Genesee Independent Press, Batavia, NY  (1971-1972).

Book Reviews

  • Benjamin Ginsberg. Presdiential Government (Yale University Press, 2016) in Choice (pending).
  • Justin S. Vaughn and Jose D.Villalobos. Czars in the White House: The Rise of Policy Czars as Presidential Management Tools (Michigan, 2015) in Choice(January, 2016).
  • Wesley W. Widmaier. Presidential Rhetoric from Wilson to Obama: Constructing Crises from Fast to Slow (Routledge, 2015) in Choice(August 2015).
  • Malcolm Byrne. Iran-Contra: Reagan’s Scandal and the Unchecked abuse of Presidential Power (University Press of Kansas, 2014) in Choice (March 2015).
  • David H. Bennett. Bill Clinton: Building a Bridge to the New Millennium (Routledge, 2014) in  Choice (October, 2014)
  • Doug Clouatre, Presidential Upsets: Dark Horses, Underdogs, and Corrupt Bargains (ABC-   CLIO, 2013) in Choice (September, 2013)
  • Mitchell D. Silber. The Al Qaeda Factor: Plots Against the West (University of Pennsylvania  Press, 2012) in Choice, July, 2012.
  • Garrett M. Graff. The Threat Matrix (Little Brown, 2011) in Choice (December, 2011)
  • Irwin L. Morris. The American Presidency: An Analytical Approach (Cambridge, 2010)  in Choice (March, 2011)
  • Shirley Anne Warshaw. The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney (Stanford, 2009) in Choice (April, 2010)
  • Ronald S. Coddington, Faces of the Confederacy: An Album of Southern Soldiers and Their   Stories Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) in The Journal of Southern History  (May, 2010).
  • Dana D. Nelson, Bad for Democracy: How the Presidency Undermines the Power of the  People (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) in Choice (June, 2009).
  • Ivan Sascha Sheehan, When Terrorism and Counterterrorism Clash: The War on Terror and the Transformation of Terrorist Activity (Cambria, 2007) in Choice (August, 2008).     
  • Jeremy D. Bailey, Thomas Jefferson and Executive Power (Cambridge, 2007) in Choice, (February, 2008).
  • Robert M. Pallito and William G. Weaver, Presidential Secrecy and the Law  (Johns Hopkins, 2007) in Choice.  (October, 2007).
  • Richard M. Pious, The War on Terrorism and the Rule of Law (Roxbury, 2006) in Choice (February, 2007.
  • Matthew Esbaugh-Soha, The President’s Speeches:  Beyond Going Public  (L. Reiner, 2006)  in Choice (December, 2006).
  • A. Cooper Drury, Economic Sanctions and Presidential Decisions:  Models of Political Rationality (Palgrave MacMillan, 2005) in Choice  (July, 2006).
  • Robert J. Lieber, The American Era:  Power and Strategy for the 21st Century (Cambridge, 2005)  in Choice  (March, 2006).
  • Adam Garfinkle, ed., A Practical Guide to Winning the War on Terrorism (Hoover Institution, 2004) in Choice (June, 2005)
  • Bruno S. Frey, Dealing with Terrorism:  Stick or Carrot?  (E. Elgar, 2004) in Choice (April, 2005)
  • Thomas J. Carty, A Catholic in the White House?  Religion, Politics and John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Campaign (Palgrave MacMillan, 2004) in American Catholic Studies (Spring, 2005)
  • Lee Harris, Civilization and Its Enemies (Palgrave, 2004) in Choice (October, 2004)
  • James Bovard, Terrorism and Tyranny (Palgrave, 2003) in Choice (March, 2004) Lawrence F. Kaplan and William Kristol, The War Over Iraq:  Saddam’s Tyranny and      America’s Mission (San Francisco:  Encounter Books, 2003) in Choice (December, 2003)
  • J. Bowyer Bell, Murders on the Nile:  The World Trade Center and Global Terror (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2003) in Choice (June, 2003)
  • Donald Yacovone, Voice of Thunder in the New Mexico Historical Review (October, 1999)

Presentations

  • “New Directions in Civil War Research”, Chichester High School, Chichester, PA (May 12, 2016)
  • “General Ely Parker: One True American”, Regency Hills Lecture Series, Oaks, PA (May 1, 2016)
  • “The Freckleton, England Air Disaster”, White Horse Village Cultural Encounters Program, Edgemont, PA (Jan. 21, 2016)
  • "They Never Grew Old: The Freckleton Air Disaster”, The Lansdowne Neighbors Club, L. Lansdowne, PA (Sept. 22, 2015)      
  • “The Freckleton Air Disaster”, The Eighth Air Force Historical Society, The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, Pooler, GA (July 21, 2015)
  • “General Ely Parker: The Seneca Warrior on General Grant’s Staff”, New Jersey Civil War Roundtable, Morris Township, NJ (June 25, 2015)
  • “The Enduring Questions of the Civil War”, In-school field trip for Honors Students, Chichester High School, Chichester, PA (May 5, 2015)
  • “They Never Grew Old: The Freckleton Air Disaster, Lunchbox Lecture Series, The National World War II Museum, New Orleans, LA (April 15, 2015)
  • “The Freckleton, England Air Disaster”, The NJ World War II Book Club, Millburn, NJ (March 17, 2015)
  • “The Freckleton Air Disaster”, Regency Hills Lecture Series, Oaks, PA (Feb. 8, 2015)
  • “The American Civil War”, In-school field trip for Honors Students, Chichester High School, Chichester, PA (Nov. 11, 2014)
  • “They Never Grew Old: The Freckleton, England Air Disaster”, History Club Forum, Cabrini College, Radnor, PA (Nov. 1, 2014)
  • “Ely Parker: One Real American”, Eastown Library, Berwyn, PA (Oct. 8, 2014)
  • “They Never Grew Old: The Freckleton, England Air Disaster”, Falvey Memorial Library Alumni Author Series, Villanova University, Villanova, PA (Sept. 29, 2014)
  • “They Never Grew Old: The Freckleton Air Disaster”, The Marple Historical Society, Broomall, PA (Sept. 23, 2014)
  • “The Freckleton Air Disaster”. Eastown Library, Berwyn, PA (June 26, 2014)
  • “They Never Grew Old: The Freckleton Air Disaster”. The Philadelphia Athenaeum, Philadelphia, PA (June 18, 2014)
  • “The Freckleton Air Disaster”. Media/Upper Providence Library, Media, PA (May 19, 2014)
  • “The Freckleton Air Disaster”. Presentation to the Cabrini College Board of Trustees at Cabrini College, Radnor, PA (May 16, 2014)
  • “They Never Grew Old: The Freckleton Air Disaster”. Middletown Free Library, Middletown, PA (May 9, 2014)
  • “The Freckleton Air Disaster”, Notre Dame de Lourdes School, Swarthmore, PA (May 8, 2014)
  • “Continuing Issues about the Civil War.” In-school field trip for Honors Students, Chichester High School, Chichester, PA (May 6, 2014)
  • “The Importance of Social Studies to Student Learning”, Keynote Address for the Rho Kappa Induction Ceremony, Chichester High School, Chichester, PA (June 6, 2013)
  • “Lincoln mania”, In-school field trip for Honors Students, Chichester High School, Chichester, PA (April 19, 2013)
  • “New Findings in Civil War Research”, In- school field trip for Honors Students, Chichester High School, Chichester, PA (Nov. 13, 2012)
  • “The Creation of Image: Political Advertising in Presidential Elections”, Notre Dame de Lourdes School, Swarthmore, PA (Oct. 23, 2012)
  • “Mysteries of the Electoral College Revealed”, Constitution Day Lecture, Cabrini College (Sept. 18, 2012)
  • “Unanswered Questions of the Civil War”, In-school Field Trip for Honors Students, Chichester High School, Chichester, PA (Nov. 15, 2011)
  • “Causes of the American Civil War”, Notre Dame de Lourdes School, Swarthmore, PA (Oct. 18, 2011)
  • “Constitutional Change: The Amendment Process”, Constitution Day Lecture, Cabrini College (Sept. 15, 2011)
  • “Emory Upton: Father of the Modern Army”, In-school Field Trip for Honors Students, Chichester High School, Chichester, PA (May 25, 2011)
  • “Native Americans in the Civil War”, Civil War Day, Strath Haven Middle School, Media, PA (May 20, 2011)
  • “Lincoln and Bush: Republican Presidents at War”, Cabrini College Alumni Association, New York, NY (Feb. 17, 2011)
  • “Ely Parker: One True American”, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, West Chester, PA (Dec. 6, 2010)
  • “Ely Parker: One True American”, In-house Field Trip for Honors Students, Chichester High School, Chichester, PA (Nov. 5, 2010)
  • “Presidential Power and the Constitution”, Constitution Day Lecture, Cabrini College (Sept. 16, 2010)
  • “Republican Presidents at War: Lincoln and Bush”, The 12th Annual Cabrini College History Forum (Nov. 7, 2009)
  • “Present at Creation: The Constitutional Convention”, Constitution Day Lecture, Cabrini College (Sept. 17, 2010)
  • “The Freckleton Air Disaster: Part II”, Cabrini College Faculty Forum (April 21, 2009)
  • “Baseball and the American Tradition”, National Library Week, Cabrini College (April 15, 2009)
  • “Ely Parker: One Real American”, Norwood Historical Society, Norwood, PA (Sept. 25, 2008)
  • “Satrapi, Persepolis and Iranian History”, Summer Reading Convocation, Cabrini College (Sept. 25, 2008)
  • “How Does My Vote Count for President? The Mysteries of the Electoral College Revealed”, Constitution Day Lecture, Cabrini College (Sept. 18, 2008)
  • “The 2008 Presidential Election,” Alumni Weekend Lecture, Cabrini College (June 27, 2008)
  • “Ely Parker: A Native American Mason’s Struggle for Equality,” Oxford Royal Arch Chapter #223, West Grove, PA (May 14, 2008)
  • “Unpopular Wars and Presidential Decision-making: From Vietnam to Iraq,” Cabrini College Leader Lecture Series (April 21, 2008)
  • “Emory Upton: The Pure Warrior,” Union Library Civil War Roundtable (April 16, 2008)
  • “They Never Grew Old: The Freckleton Air Disaster,” Cabrini College Faculty Forum (April 15, 2008)
  • “Lincoln and Bush: A Comparison of Republican Warrior Presidents,” Union Library Civil War Roundtable (Feb. 20, 2008)
  • Keynote Address at the Delaware County Naturalization Ceremony, Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, Wednesday (Sept. 5, 2007)
  • “Ely Parker: One Real American,” Marple Historical Society (July 21, 2007)
  • “Lame Duck Presidents: Myth or Reality,” History Club of Riveria at Concord (April 25, 2007)
  • “Terrorism and the War in Iraq,” VFMAC Conference on Terrorism (April 10, 2007)
  • “Dear Pa: The Civil War Letters of Ario Pardee,” Cabrini College Faculty Forum (March 27, 2007)
  • “Ely Parker: One Real American,” Union Library Civil War Roundtable (March 21, 2007)
  • “The Pinnacle of Power: Contending Theories of Presidential Leadership,” Cabrini College Leader Lecture Series (March 12, 2007)
  • “Ely Parker: Grant’s Secretary,” Brandywine Valley Civil War Roundtable (Feb. 7, 2007)
  • “Ely Parker: One Real American,” HaverfordTownship Library (Nov. 13, 2006)
  • “Ely Parker: One Real American,” Fall Fest Lecture,Cabrini College (Oct. 7, 2006)
  • “General Emory Upton: The Pure Warrior,” Brandywine Valley Civil War Roundtable (Feb. 1, 2006)
  • “Presidential Power and the Constitution,” Constitution Day Lecture, Cabrini College (Sept. 15, 2006)
  • “The Road to the White House, 2004” Parents Weekend, Cabrini College (Oct. 2, 2004)
  • “Baseball and the American Tradition” Alumni Weekend Faculty Forum, Cabrini College (June 5, 2004)
  • “Generals Upton and Parker” Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, West Chester, PA (Feb. 18, 2004)
  • “The War in Iraq: Pros and Cons”, Delaware CountyCommunity College (April 10, 2003)
  • “Civil War Soldiers from Genesee County, NY”, Cabrini College Faculty Forum (April 1, 2003)
  • “Lame Duck Presidents” Cabrini College History Club Forum (Nov. 9, 2002)
  • “How Should the U.S. Respond to the Iraqi Crisis?” Round-Table Discussion, Cabrini College (Oct. 11, 2002)
  • “Baseball and the American Tradition” Family Weekend Faculty Forum, Cabrini College (Oct. 5, 2002)
  • “The Impact of Sept. 11, 2001” Symposium sponsored by the Alumni Association of Cabrini College (March 16, 2002)
  • “America’s War on Terrorism” Adult Library Programs,Radnor, PA (Jan. 31, 2002)
  • “Practical Approaches to Accelerated Learning for Adult Educators” Cabrini College, (Dec. 8, 2001)
  • “Living with Terrorism” Cabrini Day Presentation (Nov. 8, 2001)
  • “Terrorism and the U.S. Response” Presentation for the Cabrini College Board of Trustees (Oct. 19, 2001)
  • “Terrorism: Its’ Implications and Consequences” St. Joseph’s School In-Service Forum (Oct. 1, 2001)
  • “Terrorism and the U.S. Response” U.S. Liability and Casualty Insurance Company Chesterbrook, PA (Sept. 27, 2001)
  • Faculty Forum on Terrorism: Cabrini College (Sept. 20, 2001)
  • “Historical and Political Perspectives of Terrorism” Cabrini College (Sept. 18, 2001)
  • “Strategic Targets: Why the WTC was Chosen” Cabrini College (Sept. 17, 2001)
  • “Bringing the Power of the Web to Teaching and Learning” Workshop for ACHE, Region IV, Radnor, PA (June 1, 2001)
  • Spring Convocation Address, Cabrini College (April 27, 2001)
  • “Selling the President” Cabrini College Faculty Forum (Oct. 17, 2000)
  • “Presidential Election of 2000” Family Weekend, Cabrini College (Sept. 30, 2000)
  • “Politics in the Civil War” Wilmington, DE (May 5, 1999)
  • “Post-Impeachment Presidency” World Affairs Council, Philadelphia, PA (March 3, 1999)

Awards and Recognition

  • Pi Sigma Alpha (2012)
  • Cabrini College Sports Hall of Fame (2008)
  • Delta Epsilon Sigma  (2006)
  • CabriniCollege Honorary Alumnus Award ( 2002)
  • Phi Alpha Theta (1996)
  • Lindback Award Winner for Excellence in Teaching (1988)

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