20th-century US politics and culture, war and memory
Office: Harris Hall #342
Michael Allen (Ph.D. Northwestern University, 2003) is an historian of United States political culture since 1945, with a particular interest in the relationship between domestic politics and foreign affairs. His research and teaching combine questions and sources from political and diplomatic history with cultural history's interest in language and ideas to produce new insights on the domestic roots and repercussions of U.S. engagement with the world. His first book Until The Last Man Comes Home: POWs, MIAs, and the Unending Vietnam War (University of North Carolina Press, 2009) examined the unprecedented level of concern regarding captive and missing Americans during and after the Vietnam War to reveal the ways in which Americans constructed and contested the meaning of their nation's defeat in Vietnam. His new book project, provisionally titled The Confidence of Crisis: Confronting the Imperial Presidency, 1968-1992, examines the movement of antiwar activism into organized politics in the 1970s and considers its legacies. Focused on efforts to expose and reform abuses of presidential power, it highlights the persistence of liberal reform energies in national politics in the "long 1970s" and seeks to explain their eclipse in the 1980s and beyond.