John Israel is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Virginia. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1955) and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard (1957, 1963). His scholarly writing has focused upon students and higher education in 20th century China. His magnum opus is Lianda: A Chinese University in War and Revolution (1998). He has traveled, lived and studied in Taiwan (1959-1962, 1985-1986) and the People’s Republic of China (since 1978).
After retiring from the UVa faculty in 2003, he taught American history to Chinese students at the Yunnan Nationalities University and Chinese history to American students through the Duke in China program in Kunming. On the 2010 spring voyage, he helped to launch Semester at Sea’s Tung program in Sino-US relations. He and Professor Tao Xie teamed up for the Tung program in spring 2013.
His commentaries on contemporary China have been broadcast through the Voice of America’s Mandarin Language Service. A veteran of the anti-Vietnam-war movement, he has periodically conducted colloquia and seminars on Vietnamese history and the Vietnam War.