Stephen F. Knott, Ph.D.

Professor National Security Affairs
Stephen F Knott Profile Picture


Stephen F. Knott is a professor in the National Security Affairs Department. Prior to accepting his position at the War College, Knott co-chaired the Presidential Oral History Program at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. His books include “Secret and Sanctioned: Covert Operations and the American Presidency,” “Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance That Forged America” and “Rush to Judgment: George W. Bush, the War on Terror, and His Critics.” His most recent book is “The Lost Soul of the American Presidency: The Decline into Demagoguery and the Prospects for Renewal.” He is currently at work on a book on the presidency of John F. Kennedy.

Areas of Expertise

  • Civil War
  • Cold War
  • Foreign Policy
  • National Security
  • Revolutionary War
  • Vietnam War
  • War of 1812
  • WWII

Professional Highlights


Professor, Department of National Security Affairs, United States Naval War College

United States Naval War College


Miller Center of Public affairs, University of Virginia

Associate Professor

Miller Center of Public affairs, University of Virginia

Associate Professor

United States Air Force Academy


Ph.D., Boston College, 1991, Political Science

B.A., Assumption College, 1979, Political Science

C.V. or Resume

Related Credentials

Member of the Board of Visitors, The Washington, Jefferson, and Madison Institute, Charlottesville, VA

Honorary Degree, Doctor of Letters, Assumption College, May 11, 2013

Outstanding Achievement Award, Assumption College Alumni Association, 2009

Who’s Who in America, 2002-2003

Research Contributions and Publications

“James Monroe,” in Hatred of America’s Presidents: Personal Attacks on the White House from Washington to Obama (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2018).

Review of Bush by Jean Edward Smith, Congress and the Presidency, vol. 44, Issue 3, 2017.

“The Fourth of July and the Martial Spirit,” Online Library of Law and Liberty, July 3, 2017.

“The Speech: Reagan, the Russians, and the Bomb,” in The Reagan Manifesto: A Time For Choosing and Its Influence (Palgrave, 2017)

“America’s Worst Secretary of State,” The National Interest, January 31, 2017.

“JFK. A Motorcade. A Rifle. But This Wasn’t Dallas,” History News Network, April 24, 2016.

“The Real Relationship Between Washington and Hamilton,” Time, January 26, 2016.“Secrecy is as American as Apple Pie,” in Debating Reform, ed. Richard J. Ellis and Michael Nelson, Congressional Quarterly Press, 2016.

Review of American Burke: The Uncommon Liberalism of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, by Greg Weiner, Perspectives on Political Science, Issue 4, 2015.

Review of The American Constitutional Order, by Stephen M. Griffin, Naval War College Review, Spring, 2015.

“Hating Alexander Hamilton: An American Tradition,” The Federalist, June 24, 2015.

“Distorted ‘History’: The Case of George W. Bush and the War on Terror,” Citizens and Statesmen: An Annual review of Political Theory and Public Life, Volume 8, 2014.

“What Might Have Been: The Presidency of John F. Kennedy,” The Review of Politics, Fall, 2014.

“If George Washington Were Alive, He’d be Reading Your E-Mail,” Foreign Policy, January 29, 2014.

“The World of Justin Amash,” The National Interest, October, 2013.

“When Everyone Agreed About Iraq,” The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2013.

“Judging George W. Bush, Scholarship or Punditry?” The Washington Post, April 21, 2013.

Review of The Cuban Missile Crisis in American Memory: Myths versus Reality, by Sheldon M. Stern, Review of Politics, Summer, 2013

Review of The Reagan Diaries, Douglas Brinkley, ed., and White House Diary by Jimmy Carter, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Winter, 2011.

Review of In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir, by Dick Cheney, Naval War College Review, Winter, 2011.

Review of The Education of Ronald Reagan: The General Electric Years and the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatism by Thomas Evans, Naval War College Review, Autumn, 2011.

“President Obama, the Intelligence Community, and the War on Terror” The Obama Presidency in the Constitutional Order, Carol McNamara and Melanie Marlowe, eds., Rowman and Littlefield, April, 2011.

Review of Advice to War Presidents: A Remedial Course in Statecraft, by Angelo M. Codevilla, Review of Politics, Spring, 2010.Review of Dead Last: The Public Memory of Warren G. Harding’s Scandalous Legacy, by Phillip G. Payne, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Summer, 2010.

“Necessity Knows No Law,” The Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, January, 2010.

“Mr. Reagan Goes to Washington,” The Enduring Reagan, Charles W. Dunn, ed., The University Press of Kentucky, 2009.

Review of The Third Reich at War, by Richard J. Evans, Naval War College Review, Autumn, 2009.

Review of Hitler, The Germans, and the Final Solution, by Ian Kershaw, Naval War College Review, Spring, 2009.

“Let’s Give the Constitution a Chance,” Ashbrook Center of Public Affairs,, July, 2007.

Review of The Reagan Imprint: Ideas in American Foreign Policy from the Collapse of Communism to the War on Terror, by John Arquilla, Claremont Review of Books, Winter, 2006.

Review of Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson: The Politics of Enlightenment and the American Founding, by Darren Staloff, Presidential Studies Quarterly, December, 2006.

“Opposed in Death as in Life: Hamilton and Jefferson in American Memory,” The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton, Douglas Ambrose and Robert W. T. Martin, eds., New York University Press, 2006.

Review of Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why, by Gerald D. McKnight, Perspectives on Political Science, Spring, 2006.

Review of Executive Secrets: Covert Action and the Presidency, by William J. Daugherty, American Diplomacy, Spring, 2006.

“The Six-Year War: Intelligence Oversight in the Reagan Years,” The Reagan Presidency, Paul Kengor and Peter Schweizer, eds., Rowman and Littlefield, 2005.

Review of The Reagan Presidency: Pragmatic Conservatism and Its Legacies, W. Elliot Brownlee and Hugh Davis Graham, eds., Perspectives on Political Science, Spring, 2005.

Review of Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow, Claremont Review of Books, Fall, 2004.Review of Alexander Hamilton: A Life, by Willard Sterne Randall, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, January, 2004.

“The Legacy of John Adams,” Presidential Studies Quarterly, June, 2002.“Congressional Oversight and the Crippling of the CIA,” History News Network, November 4, 2001.

Review of The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election, Zachary Karabell, Perspectives on Political Science, Winter, 2001.

“The Republican Party and Intelligence Oversight,” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Spring, 2000.

Review of Secrecy: The American Experience, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, The Review of Politics, Spring, 1999.

Review of The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis, eds. Ernest R. May and Philip D. Zelikow, Perspectives on Political Science, Winter, 1998.

“Executive Power and American Intelligence,” Intelligence and National Security, Summer, 1998.“America’s Romance with the Clandestine,” Freedom Review, Summer, 1997.

Review of Kennedy and Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America, Christopher Matthews, Perspectives on Political Science, Summer, 1997.

“Lake Should be Confirmed,” The Christian Science Monitor, February 7, 1997.

“What the Antifederalists Can Teach Us,” On Principle, February 1997.

“Lincoln’s Covert Civil War,” The Washington Times, October 5, 1996.“Reagan’s Critics,” The National Interest, Summer, 1996.

“Let Secret Agencies Stay Secret,” The Washington Times, May 20, 1996.

“Invoking an ‘Executive Decision,’” The Christian Science Monitor, April 29, 1996.

Review of The War Between the Spies: A History of Espionage During the American Civil War, Alan Axelrod, Intelligence and National Security, April, 1994.

“Covert Action Comes Home: Daniel Webster’s Secret Operations Against the Citizens of Maine,” International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, Vol. 5, No.1.

“Thomas Jefferson’s Clandestine Foreign Policy,” International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, Vol. 4, No. 3.

Other Honors

Honorary Degree, Doctor of Letters, Assumption College, Worcester, MA
May 11, 2013

External Memberships and Associations

American Political Science Association

Material and external links contained herein are made available for the purpose of peer review and discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval War College, Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.