Richard Bell received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and his B.A. from the University of Cambridge. His research interests focus on American history between 1750 and 1877.
Bell’s most recent book is “Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped Into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home.” It is the recipient of a 2017 NEH Public Scholar Award and was published by Simon & Schuster on October 8, 2019. “Stolen” is the true story of five boys who were kidnapped in the North and smuggled into slavery in the Deep South—and their daring attempt to escape and bring their captors to justice.
Bell has published two other books. The first, a monograph “We Shall Be No More: Suicide and Self-Government in the Newly United States,” examines the role that discourse regarding self-destruction played in the cultural formation of the early republic. The second work, “Buried Lives: Incarcerated in Early America,” a co-edited volume of essays centered on the experience of incarcerated subjects and citizens in early America, is the product of a 2009 conference organized at the McNeil Center. He has authored several journal articles, most recently in the Journal of the Early Republic, Early American Literature, Slavery and Abolition, and History Compass.