James E. B. Breslin (1935-1996) was a professor of English and chair of the Department of Art Practice at the University of California at Berkeley, where he served on the faculty for thirty-two years.
His lifelong interest as a scholar lay in twentieth century American poetry and art. His first book was William Carlos Williams: An American Artist, published by the University of Chicago Press in 1970. This was followed by From Modern to Contemporary, which the Press published in 1984. Mark Rothko: A Biography, which the Press first released in 1993 is his best-known book, and marked a turn from poetry to American painting at its most radical moment: the emergence of Abstract Expressionism, displayed and explored in the career and life of one of its masters.