Nancy MacLean is a leading historian of the United States in the twentieth century. She is currently Arts and Sciences Professor of History at Duke University, where she teaches courses on the United States since 1945 and American social movement and public policy history. Before joining the faculty at Duke in 2010, she taught at Northwestern University for many years, where she served as department chair from 2006-2009 and was Peter B. Ritzma Professor in the Humanities.


Her award-winning scholarship focuses on the role of social movements, right and left, in changing American culture and policy. She is the author of several books, Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace; Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan; The American Women’s Movement, 1945-2000: A Brief History with Documents; and, with Donald T. Critchlow, Debating the American Conservative Movement: 1945 to the Present (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009). She is currently working on the deep history of the push to privatize public services and decision-making. 


She has won many prizes and fellowships from institutions including the American Academy of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, and the Russell Sage Foundation. She was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Historians in 2010. Her articles and reviews have appeared in many publications, including American Quarterly, the Boston Review, Feminist Studies, Gender & History, In These Times, the Journal of American History, the Journal of Women’s History, Labor, the Law and History Review, and The Nation.  She lectures widely on a variety of topics.

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    • Behind the Mask of Chivalry
    • The American's Women's Movement
    • The American Conservative Movement
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