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Peter Cozzens is the author or editor of seventeen books on the American Civil War and the American West. Cozzens also recently retired from a thirty-year career as a Foreign Service Officer, U. S. Department of State. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he served as a captain in the U. S. Army.

His newest book is The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West, published by Alfred A. Knopf in October 2016. It is the recipient of the 2017 Gilder Lehrman Prize in Military History and was chosen by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the top ten history books of 2016. It also made several other best books of the year lists, to include Amazon, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Times, and Newsday.

All of Cozzens' books have been selections of the Book of the Month Club, History Book Club, and/or the Military Book Club. Cozzens’ This Terrible Sound: The Battle of Chickamauga and The Shipwreck of Their Hopes: The Battles for Chattanooga were both Main Selections of the History Book Club and were chosen by Civil War Magazine as two of the 100 greatest works ever written on the conflict.

The History Book Club called his five-volume Eyewitnesses to the Indian Wars "the definitive resource on the military struggle for the American West."

Cozzens's Shenandoah 1862: Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign was a Choice "Outstanding Academic Title" for 2009.

He was a frequent contributor to the New York Times "Disunion" series, and he has written for America's Civil War, Civil War Times Illustrated, MHQ, Cowboys & Indians, BBC World Histories, and Smithsonian, among other publications.

In 2002 Cozzens received the American Foreign Service Association’s highest award, given annually to one Foreign Service Officer for exemplary moral courage, integrity, and creative dissent. He has also received an Alumni Achievement Award from his alma mater Knox College.

Cozzens is a member of the Advisory Board of the Lincoln Prize, the Western Writers of America, the Authors Guild, and of the Literary Society of Washington DC.

He is at work on a biography of the Shawnee chief Tecumseh, to be published by Knopf.

Cozzens, his wife Antonia Feldman, and their Labrador retriever Jake reside in Kensington, Maryland. His son Eric Cozzens lives with his mother in Monterrey, Mexico.