Peter Cozzens is the international award-winning author or editor of eighteen books on the American Civil War and the American West. Cozzens retired after 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.
Cozzens's most recent book, Tecumseh and the Prophet, published by Alfred A. Knopf in October 2020, was awarded the Western Writers of America Spur Award and was a finalist for the George Washington Prize. It has also been published in the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy.
His book The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West was published by Alfred A. Knopf in October 2016. It received the 2017 Gilder Lehrman Prize in Military History, the Caroline Bancroft Prize in Western History, and--in translation--the 2018 HisLibris Award (Spain) for the best non-fiction work of history. The Earth is Weeping 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, including Amazon, the San Francisco Chronicle, the London Times, the Seattle Times, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and Newsday. The Earth is Weeping also has been published in Chinese, Italian, Spanish, United Kingdom, Russian, and Dutch editions.
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, the Wall Street Journal, 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, from which he graduated summa cum laude.
Cozzens is a member of the Western Writers of America, the Authors Guild, the Army and Navy Club, and the Literary Society of Washington DC. He also has served as a juror for the prestigious Lincoln Prize.
Cozzens and his wife Antonia Feldman reside in Kensington, Maryland.