Mark R. Peattie was a visiting scholar at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was a professor of history emeritus at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and was the John A. Burns Distinguished Visiting Professor of History at the University of Hawai'i in 1995.
Peattie was a specialist in modern Japanese military, naval, and imperial history. His current research focused on the historical context of Japanese-Southeast Asian relations. He was also directing a pioneering and international collaborative effort of the military history of the study of the Sino-Japanese war of 1937–45 being sponsored by the Asia Center at Harvard University.
He is editor, with Peter Duus and Ramon H. Myers, of the Japanese Wartime Empire, 1937–1945 (Princeton University Press, 1996). Peattie is the author of the Japanese Colonial Empire: The Vicissitudes of Its Fifty-Year History (Tokyo: Yomiuri Press, 1996).
He coauthored, with David Evans, Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887–1941 (Naval Institute Press, 1997), winner of a 1999 Distinguished Book Award of the Society for Military History. A sequel, Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power, 1909–1941, was published by the Naval Institute Press in 2001.
Peattie is also the author of the monograph A Historian Looks at the Pacific War (Hoover Essays in Public Policy, 1995).
Peattie was a reader for Columbia University, University of California, University of Hawai'i, Stanford University, University of Michigan, and U.S. Naval Institute Presses.
Peattie frequently served as lecturer in the Stanford University Continuing Studies Program and in the Stanford Alumni Travel Program.
He was named an associate in research at the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University from 1982 to 1993.
He was a member of the U.S. Information Agency from 1955 to 1968 with service in Cambodia (1955–57), in Japan (Sendai, Tokyo, Kyoto, 1958–67), and in Washington, D.C. (1967–68).
Peattie held a PhD in Japanese history from Princeton University.