Publication Date

November 15, 2016

Perspectives Section

Member Spotlight, Perspectives Daily

David Baker is an independent historian who recently begun a history-themed podcast. He lives in Pittsburg, California, and has been an AHA member since 2010.


David Baker


Alma maters: BA, Andrews University, 2008; MA, Norwich University, 2013

Fields of interest: military, World War II, early America

Describe your career path. What led you to where you are today? I am early in my history career. I have always loved history, which led me to attain a BA in history. Three years later, I began an MA program in military history, and completed this degree in 2013.

What projects are you currently working on? I have recently begun a history themed podcast titled Coffee Break History. The goal is to produce short segments about history that will be appealing to a wide range of people. Each episode will be short enough that someone can listen to it during, say, a coffee break.

Have your interests evolved since graduation? If so, how? My interests have largely remained the same, although my interest in early American history has increased.

What’s the most fascinating thing you’ve ever found at the archives or while doing research? The most fascinating thing to me that I have come across during research is not necessarily a single artifact. It is the realization that someone, at some point in the past created whatever it was I was looking at, likely without the realization that someone like me would one day be using that piece of paper, picture, etc., for research.

Is there an article, book, movie, blog, etc., that you could recommend to fellow AHA members? There are so many interesting works of history it is hard to choose just one. Two books that I have recently read are Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick and The Pope and Mussolini by David Kertzer. Both are fascinating works about their respective topics.

What do you value most about the history discipline? It is very sad to realize that the majority of people do not have a good understanding of history. To me, history is, in a sense, a lost art. I feel that it is very important to continue to tell the story of the past so that history can be preserved for future generations.

Why is membership in the AHA important to you? It is very important to me to be able to remain connected to a community that shares my love of history. The AHA provides that.

AHA members are involved in all fields of history, with wide-ranging specializations, interests, and areas of employment. To recognize our talented and eclectic membership, AHA Today features a regular AHA Member Spotlight series.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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Matthew Keough
Matthew Keough

American Historical Association