David Rubel. Author, Historian, Speaker

David Rubel athe The Carter Center

David delivers a lecture at the Carter Center in Atlanta in October 2009.



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President Carter

President Carter with David and his family following the If I Had a Hammer book signing at the Carter Center in October 2009.



David Rubel in Thailand

David at the Carter Work Project in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in November 2009.



David Rubel and Melissa Block

David with All Things Considered host Melissa Block at Melissa’s reading of The Carpenter’s Gift in November 2011.


David Rubel has made a career of bringing history alive for readers of all ages.


Recognized nationally as an author, speaker, and historian, David has written nineteen books and edited a dozen more during his quarter century in publishing. Most of these titles focus on making American history accessible to a broad audience. Working with many of the country’s finest historians—including Pulitzer Prize–winners Joseph J. Ellis and James M. McPherson and Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein—David has created enduring books that make first-rate scholarship understandable and compelling.


Adults and children alike have embraced David’s work. The Indianapolis Star has called The Coming Free: The Struggle for African-American Equality “a magnificent accounting of the civil rights activism of blacks” with a visual presentation that is “stunning and memorable.” His children’s books The Scholastic Encyclopedia of the Presidents and Their Times and The Scholastic Atlas of the United States have both become grade-school standards, selling more than half a million copies each in multiple editions.


David is also the author of The Carpenter’s Gift: A Christmas Tale About the Rockefeller Center Tree, which is his second collaboration with Habitat for Humanity International. Novelist Pete Hamill praised the picture book, illustrated by Jim LaMarche, as “excellent” in his lead review for the New York Times Book Review.


As the president of Agincourt Press, a book production company in Chatham, New York, David works with his wife and partner, Julia Rubel, to conceive and develop projects for numerous publishers. Some of these he writes himself; others, he edits. For all, he coordinates the text, image research, and graphic design so that the narratives leap off the page.


A 1983 graduate of Columbia University, where he was sports editor of the Columbia Daily Spectator, David began his career as a correspondent for the Pacific News Service, covering everything from rock music to street gangs. He then worked as an editorial assistant at HarperCollins before becoming a freelance writer and editor. In 1990, David founded Agincourt Press in New York City. From 1994 until 2001, he served as president of the American Book Producers Association. In 1996, he moved his company from Manhattan to Chatham, a rural community in New York’s Hudson River Valley, where he now lives with his wife and two children.


David appears regularly on television and radio to discuss his work, especially as it relates to the American presidents. Concise biographies of the presidents that he recorded to support the publication of To the Best of My Ability: The American Presidents were syndicated to public radio stations nationwide and ran several times daily during the six weeks leading up to the 2000 election.


David speaks widely on history and presidential politics. He has lectured at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., the Carter Center in Atlanta and at numerous schools and institutions.