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Michael J. Allen

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2003
Curriculum Vitae


Geographic Field(s):  American History, Since 1900

Thematic Field(s):  War and Empire in History

Principal Research Interest(s):  U.S. Political and Diplomatic History


Michael J. Allen (Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2003) is a historian of the United States in the 20th-century who researches the politics of U.S. foreign policy. His first book Until The Last Man Comes Home: POWs, MIAs, and the Unending Vietnam War (University of North Carolina Press, 2009) examined the politics of loss that emerged from American defeat in the Vietnam Wars through a history of the POW/MIA movement. His current work-in-progress Tug of War: Confronting the Imperial Presidency, 1966-1992 presents left-liberal challenges to presidential war powers in "the long 1970s" as a vehicle for antiwar activism beyond the Vietnam War. Focused on the interplay between grassroots activists, beltway liberals, and presidential politics, it argues that such challenges were central to the political realignment and party polarization that emerged by the 1980s and that has defined U.S. politics since.


Teaching Interests

  • My teaching, like my research, focuses on modern U.S. History, with particular emphasis on 20th-century political and diplomatic history, the fields in which I accept and train graduate students. At the undergraduate level, I regularly teach the second half of the U.S. History survey along with courses on the Vietnam Wars, the United States Since 1968, and seminars on war and society and American empire. I have advised two finished Ph.D. dissertations and am currently primary adviser to three other Ph.D. students. And I have advised five completed undergraduate honors theses and am currently advising my sixth. In 2013 I was named to the Associate Student Government faculty honor roll.

Recent Awards

  • Kaplan Institute for the Humanities Fellowship, 2015-16.
  • Dirksen Congressional Center Research Award, 2012, 2000.
  • Friends of the Princeton University Library Research Grant, 2011.
  • Gerald R. Ford Foundation Research Grant, 2010, 2000.
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