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 foreign affairs. 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 for International Scholars and held the Harold K. Johnson Chair in Military History at the US Army War College. During the academic year 2020-2021 I will be a fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, where I will work on a project about private, grassroots participation in US foreign policy in 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
- Transnational Social Movements in the Twentieth Century: US and the World
- Readings in Twentieth-Century U.S. History
- The Teaching of History
- The Rise of the Military Welfare State (Harvard University Press, 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
- “Women, Gender and the State,” with Rachel Moran, in Nancy Hewitt and Anne Valk, eds., Companion to American Women’s History (Willey-Blackwell, forthcoming 2020)
- “Military Demographics in the Twentieth Century,” in Ed Martini and David Kieran, eds., At War: Militarism and American Culture in the Twentieth Century and Beyond (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2018).
- “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).
- “Philanthropy, Feminism, and Left Liberalism, 1960-1985,” Journal of Women’s History, vol. 20, no. 4, (Winter 2008).
- Brief for Jane Doe 2 et al., Jane Doe 2 et al. v. Trump, December 10, 2018, US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, for the Organization of American Historians and 47 Historians of the Military, National Security, and Foreign Relations
Opinion Editorials and Articles
- “The Wrong Side of History: The All-Volunteer Force,” Vox, April 4, 2019, https://www.vox.com/2019/3/27/18185871/military-draft-conscription
- “Too Much War, Not Enough College,” The War Room, June 20, 2018, https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/articles/too-much-war-not-enough-college/
- “For America, Welfare is Essential for Warfare,” War on the Rocks, May 4, 2018, https://warontherocks.com/2018/05/for-america-welfare-is-essential-for-warfare/
- “Trump’s Trans Ban Isn’t Just Anti-Gay. It’s Anti-Military,” Washington Post, July 28, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/07/28/the-battle-over-who-can-serve-is-a-battle-over-who-we-are/?utm_term=.35530449d91a
- “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.
SELECTED MAJOR AWARDS
- Dorothy and Lewis Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, New York Public Library, 2020-2021
- Harold K. Johnson Chair in Military History, US Army War College, 2017-2018
- Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2008-2009
- American Historical Association
- Organization of American Historians
- Society for the History of American Foreign Relations
- Coordinating Council on Women’s History
- Society for Military History