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A specialist in twentieth-century US, labor, African American, and oral history, Taylor attended Marquette University (B.A. 1988), Indiana University Northwest (B.S. 1995), and the University of Mississippi (M.A. 1998). He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (2007).
Taylor came to the Citadel after serving as the Associate Director of the Southern Oral History Program in Chapel Hill and teaching courses on the civil rights movement, American workers, and oral history at UNC, Duke University, and Mills College, Oakland, California. He co-edited volume 4 and volume 5 of the Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. (University of California Press, 2000 and 2005) and American Labor and the Cold War (Rutgers University Press, 2004), and has contributed chapters to Rebel Rank and File: Labor Militancy and Revolt from Below during the Long Seventies (Verso, 2010) and American Labor Struggles and Law Histories (Carolina Academic Press, 2011).
His current manuscript project is entitled Turn to the Working Class: The New Left, Black Liberation, and the American Labor Movement (1967-1981).
Taylor is a native of Lombard, Illinois, but he has family ties to the Low Country. His grandfather was born in Beaufort in the aftermath of the Port Royal Experiment and he descends from Irish immigrants to Charleston who lived on the East Side in the 1880s. Taylor is coordinator of the Citadel's oral history initiative and he welcomes inquiries from students and area residents who are interested in the preservation and study of local history.