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I was born in Minneapolis in 1954; grew up in Valley City, North Dakota; graduated high school in Des Moines, class of 1972; graduated from Reed College in 1976 with a bachelor’s in history; married Leslie Olin from Boston in 1979; served as gunnery and electronics material officer on the USS KIRK based in Yokosuka, Japan, until 1982; earned a doctorate in political science from the University of Iowa in 1987; and taught politics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in Nanjing, China, and Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Currently I’m a technical editor at Conexant Systems in Waltham, Massachusetts. My wife and I have a son who lives in Washington DC, and a daughter in junior high school. We live in a great house in Westwood, Massachusetts, southwest of Boston.