Nebraska Authors

William Lee Miller

Born 1926-04-26 Bloomington, IN (USA)

Died 2012-05-27

William Lee Miller, son of a peripatetic Presbyterian minister, grew up in Laramie, WY, Hutchinson, KS, and Lincoln, Nebraska. Miller earned a BA at the University of Nebraska, and a second BA from Yale Divinity School. He then joined Adali Stevenson's unsuccessful 1956 Presidential campaign, where he worked as a speech writer, he then returned to Yale, earning his Ph.D. from Yale in religious social ethics in 1958. He had a long career as a writer, scholar, and college professor. He taught from 1982-1999 in the University of Virginia religious studies department, where he was Commonwealth professor and Thomas C. Sorensen professor of political and social thought.

Miller was perhaps best known for books about Lincoln and slavery, including Lincoln's Virtues: An Ethical Biography, 2002 and Arguing About Slavery: The Great Battle in the United States Congress, 1996. He also ventured into more modern history, with the book Two Americans: Truman, Eisenhower and a Dangerous World, 2012 and a book about his own experiences serving as a three-term city Alderman in New Haven, The Fifteenth Ward and the Great Society, 1966, among others.

Author Of

  • Biography
  • Journalism
  • Nonfiction


Politics; Political Ethics; Institutions; United States-Political History; U.S. Presidency--History; Political Speechwriter


BA, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
BA, Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT
Phd, 1958, Yale University, New Haven, CT


The Protestant and Politics. 1960.
Piety Along the Potomac. 1964. In HR.
The Fifteenth Ward and the Great Society: An Encounter With a Modern City. 1966.
Of Thee, Nevertheless, I Sing: An Essay on American Political Values. 1975.
Yankee From Georgia: The Emergence of Jimmy Carter. 1978.
The First Liberty: Religion and the American Republic. 1986. In HR
Williamsburg: Cradle of the First Liberty. 1988.
Religion and the Public Good. 1989.
The Business of May Next: James Madison and the Founding. 1992.
Arguing about Slavery: The Great Battle in the United States Congress. 1996.
Frederick Douglass: The Last Day of Slavery. 2005
President Lincoln: The Duty of a Statesman. 2008.
Two Americans: Truman, Eisenhower, and a Dangerous World. 2012.

We appreciate corrections and additions to our information about authors, but please read the following guidelines and caveats carefully.

  • The Nebraska Authors database is based on publicly available sources. Unless you are the author contacting us in person, it helps us if you cite the source or sources of your information. We cannot include unsourced information in the database.
  • We may be appreciative of information we choose not to include in the publicly available database.
  • To include an image on an author profile, please send jpg attachment to nebraskaauthors@lincoln.ne.gov. A photo-release agreement is required before the image will be published on this site.
  • Because of the way we are staffed, expect corrections or additions to take time, sometimes up to three months.
  • While we initially included some actual links to external URLs in the database, we will in the future no longer provide functioning links. We will instead record the presence of specific external materials in language that we hope will help intelligent users find it themselves. Web rot, in which actual materials remain online but undergo changes in their URLs, is too demanding in terms of staff time for us to hope to keep external links current.

Please copy, fill out the form below, and email it to NebraskaAuthors@lincoln.ne.gov to suggest a change.

William Lee Miller

Do you have corrections for the above information or other information to add?:

(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)