I am a historian of the twentieth-century United States, with broad interests in the state and social policy, politics, women and gender, social movements, the military and militarization. I am the author of From Welfare to Workfare: The Unintended Consequences of Liberal Reform, 1945-1964 (University of North Carolina, 2005) and The Rise of the Military Welfare State (Harvard University Press, 2015). I have published articles and opinion pieces in the Journal of Policy History, International Labor and Working Class History, the Journal of Women’s History, Social Politics, Jacobin, War on the Rocks, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. I have been a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and held the Harold K. Johnson Chair in Military History at the US Army War College. I am currently working on a project about private, grassroots participation in US foreign policy in the second half of the twentieth century.
- Gender and the U.S. Military
- U.S. Women's History
- Post-1945 U.S. History
- The History of Poverty and Economic Crisis in the United States
- The 1960s
- United States History since 1865
- Readings in Twentieth-Century U.S. History
- (New) Transnational Social Movements in the Twentieth Century: US and the World
- The Teaching of History
- The Rise of the Military Welfare State (Harvard University Press, forthcoming fall 2015).
- Welfare in the United States: A History with Documents, co-authored and edited with Premilla Nadasen and Marisa Chappell (New York: Routledge, 2009.)
- From Welfare to Workfare, the Unintended Consequences of Liberal Reform, 1945-1965, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005).
Articles and Essays
- “The Soldier-Breadwinner And The Army Family: Gender and Social Welfare in the Post-1945 U.S. Military and Society,” in Gender And The Long Postwar: Reconsiderations of the United States and the Two Germanys, 1945-1989, Karen Hagemann and Sonia Michel, eds., (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014).
- “Stepping into It: Lessons Learned from Entering the History You’re Writing,” Journal of Policy History, Vol. 24, no. 1, (Winter 2012).
- “‘The Army is a Service Not a Job’: Unionization, Employment, and the Meaning of Military Service in the Late-Twentieth United States,” International Labor and Working-Class History, vol. 80, (Fall, 2011).
- “Women Participants in Armed Violence,” Review Essay, Journal of Women’s History, vol. 23, no. 3, (Fall 2011).
- “Philanthropy, Feminism, and Left Liberalism, 1960-1985,” Journal of Women’s History, vol. 20, no. 4, (Winter 2008).
Opinion Editorials and Articles
- “Welfare’s Last Stand,” Aeon Magazine: Ideas and Culture, September 2015, https://aeon.co/essays/how-the-us-military-became-a-welfare-state
- “Reimagining the Welfare State,” Jacobin, July 23, 2015, https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/07/fdr-social-security-gi-bill/, 3,000 words.
- “Social Safety Net At Risk,” New York Times, The Opinion Pages, “Room for Debate: How to Cut the Military”, May 9, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/05/08/how-to-cut-the-military/shredding-the-militarys-social-safety-net, 500 words.
- “Food Stamp Fight,” with Lisa Levenstein, Los Angeles Times, February 6, 2012, http://articles.latimes.com/2012/feb/06/opinion/la-oe-levenstein-food-stamps-20120206, 750 words.
- Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2008-2009
- Institute for Arts and Humanities, Residency Fellowship, Penn State, Spring 2009 (declined)
- Institute for Arts and Humanities, Individual Faculty Award, Penn State, 2007
- Penn State Laboratory for Public Scholarship and Democracy Award, Penn State, 2007
- Kent Forster Award, Department of History, Penn State, 2006-2007
- Rock Ethics Institute Faculty Fellow, Penn State, 2007
- Children, Youth, and Families Consortium grant, Penn State, 2004-2005
- American Historical Association
- Organization of American Historians
- Social Science History Association
- Coordinating Council on Women’s History
- Society for Military History