Most well known for his historical work The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 (published in 1976), he is also notable for his many essays and biographical works on thirty-first United States President Herbert Hoover.
After earning his bachelor's degree from Amherst College, he completed his doctorate in history at Harvard University.
In 2008, he was awarded the prestigious Richard M. Weaver Prize for Scholarly Letters.
He spent his early days in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
He served on the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation's National Advisory Board.