Amy M. Cools is a historian, educator, researcher, and author. She specializes in African American and United States history (especially antebellum), the study of civil rights movements, biographical explorations of extraordinary people, the history of philosophy, issues in ethics and law, and other topics in history, philosophy, and intellectual history.

Amy holds a PhD in History (2021) and an MA in Intellectual History with Distinction (2018) from the University of Edinburgh (2018); a BA in Philosophy: Ethics, Politics and Law, Summa Cum Laude from California State University at Sacramento (2013), and an AA in Humanities and Fine Arts from Riverside City College (1999). Her doctoral thesis, ‘The Life and Work of James McCune Smith (1813-1865),’ is the first completed book-length biographical study dedicated to this pioneering intellectual, scientist, and physician. Amy is currently working on a biography of McCune Smith, under contract with the University of Georgia Press, and compiling and editing his complete written works. She is also a historical researcher and writing assistant for an author writing a book on US constitutional issues.

Amy has written many theses, peer-reviewed articles, conference papers, and essays. First, you can find many of her writings by clicking on the “Writings” link above. You can also find her writings on James McCune Smith and his transatlantic world in her newsletter at (her primary outlet as she writes his biography), and other works on a wide array of historical, philosophical, social, and other topics at This site features photo-illustrated writings about her history- and philosophy-themed travels and other topics. A native of California, USA, she now makes her home in a village near Falkirk, Scotland, with her beloved husband and dog.