Richard R. John is a historian of communications who currently teaches at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. His publications include many essays, articles, and reviews, two edited books, and two books, Spreading the News: The American Postal System from Franklin to Morse (Harvard University Press, 1995), and Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications (Belknap Press, 2010). John earned a B.A. , M.A. in history, and a Ph.D. in the history of American civilization from Harvard University.