Douglas Brinkley (born December 14, 1960) is an American author and a professor of history at Rice University. He previously was a professor of history at Tulane University, where he also served as director of the Theodore Roosevelt Center for American Civilization. Brinkley is the history commentator for CBS News and a contributing editor to the magazine Vanity Fair. He joined Rice University as a distinguished professor of history on July 1, 2007.He is also a fellow of the James Baker Institute for Public Policy
Brinkley was born in Atlanta, Georgia. His parents were high school teachers. Raised in Perrysburg, Ohio, he earned his B.A. from Ohio State University (1982), and his M.A. (1983) and Ph.D. (1989) from Georgetown University in U.S. Diplomatic History. He has taught at Princeton University, the U.S. Naval Academy, and Hofstra University, and he has earned several honorary doctorates for his contributions to American letters including one from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
During the early 1990s, Brinkley taught American Arts and Politics out of Hofstra aboard the Majic Bus , a roving transcontinental classroom, from which emerged the book, The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey (1993). In 1993, he left Hofstra to teach at the University of New Orleans, where he taught the class again using two natural-gas fueled buses. According to the Associated Press, "...if you can't tour the United States yourself, the next best thing is to go along with Douglas Brinkley aboard The Majic Bus."