Let's Ask John
John Kaminski was raised in Chicago. He earned the bachelor and master's degrees from Illinois State University in 1966 and 1967 and the Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1972. He has worked on The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution since 1969, first as associate editor and, beginning in 1980, as director. Eighteen of a projected twenty-six volumes of this magisterial work have been published. In addition he founded (in 1981) and continues to direct The Center for the Study of the American Constitution in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In addition to the Ratification series, Dr. Kaminski has edited, co-edited, or written twelve other books as well as many articles on the Revolutionary era with special emphasis on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, slavery, the Founding Fathers, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine. He has spoken on these subjects throughout the country and abroad. He sits on a number of editorial boards (including the Papers of Thomas Jefferson—Retirement series and the Legal Papers of Abraham Lincoln), referees manuscripts for scholarly journals and presses, and serves on panels for several federal government funding agencies.
In 1994 he instituted a judicial education program in conjunction with the Wisconsin Office of Judicial Education. In 1995 this program expanded to include federal judges through the auspices of the Federal Judicial Center, and in 1997 Kaminski joined the visiting faculty of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. Through the use of historical documents, the Center's judicial seminars give judges the opportunity to learn about the historical beginnings of America with special emphasis on the nation's philosophical underpinnings. Department of History ▪ University of Wisconsin-Madison; firstname.lastname@example.org