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If those who fail to remember the past are bound to repeat it, as the saying goes, Cormac O'Brien's purpose in writing about history is more straightforward: for him, history is inherently engrossing and discovering it is its own reward. Since 2003 Cormac has published books on everything from natural disasters to U.S. presidents, from ancient empires to the American Civil War, bringing a distinctive voice to chapters of the human story. He has spoken at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and made appearances on CNN, NPR, The History Channel, and other venues. Born and raised in western New York State, he lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter.