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Full Bio


John Cribb is a bestselling author who has written about subjects ranging from history to education. His novel Old Abe has been hailed for its vivid portrayal of Abraham Lincoln.


John’s previous work includes coauthoring The American Patriot’s Almanac and The Educated Child, both New York Times bestsellers; co-editing The Human Odyssey, a 3-volume world history text; and developing on-line history courses. John also worked as former US Secretary of Education Bill Bennett’s collaborator on the New York Times #1 bestseller The Book of Virtues. He has appeared on numerous TV, radio, and podcast shows such as C-SPAN’s Washington Journal and Fox News’s Fox & Friends, and his writing has been published in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today,, The Hill, Real Clear Politics, and several other publications. During the Reagan administration, he worked at the Department of Justice, the Department of Education, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Abraham Lincoln has been John’s hero from history since boyhood, when he read about Abe growing up on the frontier in the old Childhood of Famous Americans biography series. Thanks to a wise teacher, he had to memorize the Gettysburg Address in elementary school, and those famous words sank in. John’s bookshelves are now full of Lincoln books. His love of history, Lincoln, and a good story led to The Rail Splitter and Old Abe. John worked on both novels on and off for a dozen years, which means it took three times as long to write the darned things than it did for Lincoln to win the Civil War.


John lives in his hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina, a state rich in both Civil War and Revolutionary War history. He serves on the board of trustees of the Spartanburg County Public Libraries and the board of directors of the Spartanburg Philharmonic. He is a former member of the board of directors of the Hub City Writers Project, which operates an award-winning independent bookstore and a highly regarded literary press. He and his wife, Kirsten, have two wonderful daughters of whom they are enormously proud. When he is not reading or writing, John likes to sail, hike in the North Carolina mountains, and eat boiled peanuts on a South Carolina beach.

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