Brian DeLay received his PhD from Harvard University in 2004. He taught for five years at the University of Colorado, Boulder before taking a position at UC Berkeley, where he is now associate professor of history. He is author of a number of articles and essays, and co-author of the U.S. history textbook Experience History (McGraw-Hill). DeLay’s 2008 book, War of a Thousand Deserts: Indian Raids and the U.S.-Mexican War (Yale University Press), won prizes from several different scholarly organizations. Since then he has published on a number of topics, including the similarities and differences between 19th and 21st century instability in the U.S.-Mexican borderlands; the connection between guns and governance in Mexico’s post-independence history; Lincoln's policy toward the French Intervention in Mexico; violence and belonging on the Navajo-New Mexican frontier; and the international context for John Singleton Copley’s iconic painting Watson and the Shark. He has served as a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer, and has received fellowships from the ACLS, the American Philosophical Society, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and other organizations. He is the editor of North American Borderlands (Routledge, 2012), and is now at work on a monograph entitled "Shoot the State: Arms, Capitalism, and Freedom in the Americas Before Gun Control,” under contract with W.W. Norton.
In the News
Historian Brian DeLay’s research traces the roots of the modern arms trade all the way back to the mid-18th century, when weapons were manufactured in America or Britain only to be distributed or sold throughout the northern hemisphere.