Robert J. Allison is assistant professor of history, university archivist and director of American studies at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of "The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim World 1776-1815" (Chicago, 2000) and has edited several books.
Mr. Allison is involved with several museums and historical societies in Boston. He has also appeared on History Channel programs, as a commentator on the American wars against the Barbary corsairs and on Charles Ponzi's scheme.
His current projects include an annotated edition of the journal of Lieutenant John B. Dale, who sailed around the world on the U.S.S. Constitution (1843-1845) and drew pictures of each port the ship visited, as well as a biography of Stephen Decatur, the American naval hero.