College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English

Buddy Levy
Clinical Assistant Professor

Buddy Levy


Writer, educator, public speaker and entertainer, Buddy Levy is a co-star of the hit television series Brad Meltzer’s DECODED on HISTORY, which has run for two seasons. As a writer Levy is the author of River of Darkness: Francisco Orellana’s Legendary Voyage of Death and Discovery Down the Amazon (Bantam Dell, 2011).  His other books include Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs (Bantam Dell, 2008), which was a finalist for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, 2009, and nominated for the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, 2009, and the PEN Center USA Award 2009; American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett (Putnam, 2005, Berkley Books, 2006); and Echoes On Rimrock: In Pursuit of the Chukar Partridge (Pruett, 1998). As a freelance journalist he has covered adventure sports and lifestyle/travel subjects around the world, including several Eco-Challenges and other adventure expeditions in Argentina, Borneo, Europe, Greenland, Morocco, and the Philippines. His magazine articles and essays have appeared in Backpacker, Big Sky Journal, Couloir, Discover, High Desert Journal, Poets & Writers, River Teeth, Ski, Trail Runner, Utne Reader, TV Guide, and VIA. He is clinical associate professor of English at Washington State University, and lives in northern Idaho with his wife Camie, his children Logan and Hunter, and his black Labs Dugan and CJ.  

Recent Publications:


River of Darkness: Francisco Orellana’s Legendary Voyage of Death and Discovery Down the Amazon (Bantam Dell/Random House, Feb 22, 2011).

CONQUISTADOR: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, And the Last Stand of the Aztecs (BRUNO MONDTADARI, ITALY—Translation published 2010).

Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, And the Last Stand of the Aztecs (Bantam 2009).

Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, And the Last Stand of the Aztecs (Random House/ Bantam Dell, 2008). Short-listed for Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award; Nominated for Before Columbus Foundation Award; Nominated for Kiriyama Prize in Nonfiction; Nominated for PEN Center USA Award in Research Nonfiction (History).

American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett.  Putnam, NY.  Fall 2005.

Chicken Soup for the Chiropractic Soul. HCI, Inc. (Inclusion in Anthology.) Florida 2003.

Wind Chill, A Novel.  Completed manuscript. Currently being shopped by agents.

Echoes on Rimrock: In Pursuit of the Chukar Partridge. Pruett Books, 1999.

The Gift of Birds: True Encounters with Avian Spirits. (Anthology.) Traveler’s Tales 1999.


Magazine Articles and Journals

David Crockett: Lion of the West, by Michael Wallis. Review by Buddy Levy. The Historian. Submitted September, 2011.

UI Alum Sleuths Out Stories On and Off Screen. October 2011

 History Sleuth, By Anna Vodicka. The Inlander. March, 2011.

Historical Investigator—by Tim Steury. Washington State Magazine. Summer 2011.

Interview with Buddy Levy, Current Intelligence, Dec 9, 2010.

“The Blind Climber Who Sees With His Tongue.” Discover Presents: The Brain.
Discover Magazine Special Edition. April 2010.

“Opening Day.” Narrative Magazine. Story of the Week, Summer 2010.

“Defending Dry Fly Ranch.” Fugue. University of Idaho Literary Journal. 2010.

“Boutique Boise.” Horizon Air Magazine. March, 2010.

“How I Write—Kim Barnes.” The Writer Magazine. December 2009.

“Leaps of Faith,” included in Anthology Borne on Air (Eastern Washington University Press, 2009). 

“Idaho Falls Weekender.” Via Magazine. April/May, 2009.

“Snake River Birds of Prey.” Via Magazine. April/May, 2009.

“The Linen District: Boise, Idaho.” Via Magazine. April/May 2009.
“Weekend Getaway: Stanley, Idaho.” Via Magazine. Summer, 2008.

“Erik Weihenmayer and the BrainPort.” Discover Magazine, Summer 2008.

“Enigmatic Eagle.” Via Magazine, Spring 2008.
“Quest for Couloirs.” Big Sky Journal, Winter 2007

“Triple Play.” Horizon Airlines Magazine, November 2007.

“The Setting of Wings.” High Desert Journal, Spring/Summer 2007.

“Spinning Wheels and Singing Reels.” Big Sky Journal, Spring 2007.

“The Williams Peak Yurts.” Couloir. December, 2006.
“Leaps of Faith.” River Teeth. Fall Issue, December, 2006.
“Meditation on Silver Creek.” Sun Valley Magazine. Summer Issue, June 2006.

“The Singletrack to Paradise.” Hooked on the Outdoors. Fishing Issue, May/June 2006.

“The Wild Wild West.” Couloir. December, 2005.

“The Trail of the Coeur d’Alene.” Alaska Airlines Magazine, Spring 2006.
“The Life and Times of a Warren Miller Comic Stuntman.” Big Sky Journal. Dec, 2005.

“The Anatomy of the Free Range Writers.” Poets & Writers. May/June 2005.

“The River is Enough.” Big Sky Journal.  Fly Fishing Issue, February 2005.

“Washington Winter Wonderland.” Alaska Airlines Magazine. December 2004.

“The Setting of Wings.”  Big Sky Journal. October 2004.

“Cold Play in Greenland.”  Arctic Team Challenge.   Canoe & Kayak Magazine.  July 2004.

“Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down.”  World Ride & Tie Champs.  Trail Runner.  June 2004

“The Big Bald One—Sun Valley’s Bald Mountain.” Couloir, October 2003.
“Fjord No Boundaries—East Greenland.”  Adventure Sports Magazine, September ’03.

“Land of Enchantment.”  SKI Magazine. Mountain Summer Issue June 2003.
“Breaking Down the Door.”  Writer’s Digest.  April 2003.

“Open Boundaries: Schweitzer, Idaho.”  Couloir, January 2003
“Open Boundaries: Red Mountain, BC.”  Couloir, December 2002           

“Renowned Resort: Sun Valley, Idaho.”  Horizon Air Magazine, November 2002

“Dan the Man: Profile on Gold Medalist Dan O’Brien.”  Phoenix Magazine, July 2002

“Wind In The Wings.”  Field & Stream, May/June 2002

“Hobbitville: Schweitzer Mountain Biking.”  SKI Magazine, June 2002

“Mark Burnett: Made For TV?”  Cover Story.  Hooked on the Outdoors, Apr 2002

“The God Squad Conquers Argentina.” Trail Runner, March 2000

“The (Anonymous) Life and Times of a Warren Miller (Comic!) Stuntman.”
Hooked on the Outdoors, January 2000

Readings, Presentations, Appearances

March 2, 2012. Latah County Elementary Schools—3 50-minute presentations to Grades 4-6 at McDonald, Russell, and Lena Whitmore Schools.

February 11, 2012. Guest Reader, University of Idaho Occasional Reading Series, One World Café, Moscow, Idaho.

March 1, 2011. Central Washington University. Invited Speaker—Lion Rock Visiting Writer’s Series.

March 4, 2010. Central Washington University. Invited Guest Speaker/Lecturer, Department of English.

May 1, 2009. Gulf Shore Literary Society’s Spring Author Reading Series. Invited Speaker and Guest in Naples, Florida. Reading and talking about CONQUISTADOR (Bantam, 2008).

April 16-19, 2009. Get Lit! Literary Festival. Invited speaker, panelist, reader. “History is in the Making of It.”Reading/Talk with historical novelist William Dietrich at Aunties Bookstore April 17;

Panel: “Designing a Writer’s Life,” Saturday April 18 at Spokane Club. “Borne on Air” book release reading, Saturday April 18 at Spokane Club.

November 7-9, 2008. Wordstock Literary Festival, Portland, Oregon. Invited Speaker/Presenter
Subject: CONQUISTADOR and Adventure Journalism.

November 6, 2008. Washington State University, Pullman, WA. Visiting Writers Series. Invited Presenter/Speaker. CONQUISTADOR and Adventure Travel Writing.

September 5, 2008. Reading, Talk, and Q & A on CONQUISTADOR. Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA.

January 20, 2007. CSPAN Book TV, reading and discussion from Elliott Bay Books, Seattle, Washington. (The episode continues to be run on CSPAN Book TV).

May 27, 2006 . CSPAN Book TV, reading and discussion from Elliott Bay Books, Seattle, Washington. Subject: American Legend.

April 18, 2006. Reading, discussion, Q & A and book signing of American Legend, Potlatch Public Library, Potlatch, Idaho.

March 17, 2006. Reading, discussion, signing, and Q & A on American Legend, Village Books, Historic Fairhaven, Washington.

February 8, 2006. Reading, discussion, Q & A and book signing of American Legend—One World Café, Moscow, Idaho.

December 29, 2005. Reading, discussion, Q & A and book signing of American Legend, Iconoclast Books, Ketchum, Idaho.

July, 2005. Keynote Speaker. Annual 4-H Leadership Conference, Moscow, Idaho. Subject: Adventure Journalism and Living One’s Dream.



December 3, 2011- January 14, 2012. Appeared as Co-Star of 23 episodes of Brad Meltzer’s DECODED, on HISTORY Channel.


Radio Interviews

March, 2011. Rudy Maxa’s World. 20 minute Radio Interview with Rudy Maxa, on River of Darkness.

December 23, 2008. The Dennis Prager Show. Live Radio Interview with Nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager. Subject, CONQUISTADOR.

May 22, 2006. The Beat with Dave Beck. Taped interview on, a program of National Public Radio.  Discussion of American Legend.

March 5, 2006. Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, Evergreen Reading Room. Live Interview—30 minutes. Discussion of American Legend.

March 2006. Julie Scott Interview during The Dennis Patchin Show, KXLY 920, Spokane, Washington. Subject: American Legend and Adventure/Travel Writing.



2009 Associated Writing Programs annual conference and trade show, Feb 2009, Chicago, Illinois.

2007 Associated Writing Programs annual conference and trade show, March 2007, Atlanta, Georgia. Participant.

2006 Montana Festival of the Book, Missoula, Montana, September 2006. Presenter.

2006 Associated Writing Programs annual conference and trade show, March 2006, Austin, Texas. Participant.

2005 Associated Writing Programs annual conference and trade show, March 2005, Vancouver, British Columbia. Participant.


Field Produced and Wrote daily features for The Molson Canadian Freeskiing Challenge. Red Mountain, BC. Feb 21-24 2002.

Correspondent to, The PGA Grand Slam of Golf, Poipu Bay, Kauai, Hawaii. November 19-21 2001.

Lead Writer, New York City Marathon 2000. Quokka Sports, November 1-7 2000

Lead Writer, Eco-Challenge Sabah 2000, Quokka Sports, August 11-Sept 5 2000

Lead Writer, Marathon des Sables 2000, Quokka Sports April 2-18, 2000

Lead Writer, Elf Authentic Adventure, Philippines 1999 April 5-27 1999

Lead Writer, Beast of the East Adventure Race, 1999, Virginia. May 1999

"The Evolution of a Tech Weenie." January 2000

"John Stamstad: A Record Setting Ride on the Continental Divide." September 1999.

"The Adventure Files." Monthly Adventure Racing Column. June-December 2000 Sports

"The Adventure Files." Monthly Adventure Racing Column. July-October 1999.

Teaching Interests

Levy is interested in discussion-based courses that stress student involvement and participation over traditional lecture. Current areas of interest include contemporary fiction, narrrative nonfiction, and cross-genre works that blur standardized genre classification, such as contemporary nonfiction novels and "new" memoir. Writings about risk, danger, adventure, the natural world, and the individual in society all play a role in current and upcoming course offerings.










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