Robert Schmuhl

Bob Schmuhl


Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Chair in American Studies and Journalism
1037 Flanner Hall
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Office: (574) 631-5128
Fax: (574) 631-4399

Associate Visiting Research Fellow
Rothermere American Institute
University of Oxford
1a South Parks Road
Oxford, England
Phone: +44 (0)1865 282705


Robert Schmuhl received his bachelor's degree from Notre Dame in 1970 and a doctorate (in English and American Studies) from Indiana University-Bloomington in 1978. He joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1980, teaching at the University of Notre Dame of Australia in 1997, serving as the inaugural Naughton Fellow at University College Dublin in 2000, and being Visiting Professor of Media Ethics at St. Augustine College of South Africa in 2003. In 2004 and 2012, he was on the faculty of Notre Dame’s London Centre, and in 2009 he was the first John Hume Visiting Research Fellow at University College Dublin. In 2004, he received a Kaneb Teaching Award from Notre Dame, and in 2010 he won the Frank O’Malley Undergraduate Teaching Award, the only University-wide, student-selected honor given for teaching at Notre Dame. In 2016, he was appointed an Adjunct Professor in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University in Ireland.

Schmuhl is the author or editor of thirteen books, including Statecraft and Stagecraft: American Political Life in the Age of Personality (1990, 1992, and 2016), Demanding Democracy (1994), Thomas Jefferson: America's Philosopher-King (1996 and 2014) and Wounded Titans: American Presidents and the Perils of Power (1996). His edited volume, The Responsibilities of Journalism, has been published in four foreign editions. Indecent Liberties came out in 2000 and was selected by the Chicago Tribune Books section as one of 40 noteworthy nonfiction titles for that year. His collection of essays, In So Many Words: Arguments and Adventures, was published in 2006, with a new, expanded edition, In So Many More Words, appearing in 2010.  This edition was a finalist for the Book of the Year Award for essays, sponsored by ForeWord Reviews. Another edited volume, Making Words Dance: Reflections on Red Smith, Journalism, and Writing, also came out in 2010 from Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Schmuhl has recently written on Ireland's Easter Rising.  In March of 2016, his Ireland's Exiled Children: America and the Easter Rising was published by Oxford University Press.  In an article in Irish America Magazine, "Digging up the past," Schmuhl discusses the book and the process of writing it.  You may read an excerpt of the book in this TIME article:  "The American Influence on Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising."  Schmuhl's latest book, Fifty Years with Father Hesburgh: On and Off the Record, was published by the University of Notre Dame Press in August of 2016.

Schmuhl's academic articles have been published in several books and in such journals as SOCIETY, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, The Review of Politics, Issues of Democracy, and Style. In 1983 he received a Clarion Award for directing a conference at Notre Dame on the responsibilities of journalism, and in 1996 he was named a participant in the U.S. Department of Education's "Democracy at Risk" project. He served as a member of the Institutions of American Democracy Commission on the Press, established in 2003 by the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, and he is the lead author of the essay “The Marketplace of Ideas” in the Commission’s volume, titled The Press, which was published by Oxford University Press in the spring of 2005. 

A frequent contributor to popular publications, Schmuhl’s columns, features, and reviews have appeared in the The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA TODAY, The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, Commonweal, American Journalism Review, The Quill, and many other newspapers and magazines. He has appeared on CBS, CNN, PBS, NPR, the Voice of America, the BBC, Sky News, and several other television and radio programs in the U.S. and abroad.  Since 2004, he has offered news analysis from America for RTE, Ireland's public service broadcaster.


Most Recent Books


  • AMST 30118 The Craft of Journalism

  • AMST 30181 American Political and Media Culture

  • AMST 30127 The Making of Irish America






Schmuhl Fiftyyearswithhesburgh

For over half a century, Robert Schmuhl interviewed and wrote about Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., who served as the president of the University of Notre Dame from 1952 until 1987. Beginning as an undergraduate student during the 1960s, when he covered Hesburgh and Notre Dame for the Associated Press, to 2014 when he conducted his last visit with the frail ninety-seven-year-old priest, Schmuhl maintained a unique relationship with Father Hesburgh. Over time, Hesburgh’s meetings with Schmuhl evolved into a friendship, which is documented in this personal and warmhearted portrait of the man who was for decades considered the most influential priest in America.


In the culmination of a decade-long research project, Professor Bob Schmuhl recently authored Ireland’s Exiled Children: America and the Easter Rising, released in March 2016 by Oxford University Press. The book describes the mostly unexplored history of the Easter Rising’s origins in the United States, and is based on original archival research Schmuhl conducted in both arenas as well as England. Bringing life to these characters in a tale that had been lost to history, Schmuhl produced this project alongside a host of others on the topic, including contributing to the documentary 1916: The Irish Rebellion, narrated by Liam Neeson and co-produced by the University of Notre Dame in celebration of the centenary of the event.