Distinguished Lecturers
Kevin Boyle

Kevin Boyle

Kevin Boyle is the William Smith Mason Professor of American History at Northwestern University. His work focuses on race, class, and politics in the twentieth-century United States. He is the author of Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age (2004), National Book Award winner for non-fiction and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; The UAW and the Heyday of American Liberalism, 1945–1968 (1995); coauthor (with Victoria Getis) of Muddy Boots and Ragged Aprons: Images of Working-Class Detroit, 1900–1930 (1997) and his most recent book is The Shattering: America in the 1960s (2021).  His essays and reviews have appeared in The Washington Post, the New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit Free Press, and other newspapers and magazines.

OAH Lectures by Kevin Boyle

Drawing on his recent book, Kevin Boyle traces a new history of the 1960s through four women whose lives were shaped by the decade's upheavals. It's a story of sweeping change -- of the struggle for racial justice, the reconstruction of individual rights, and the terrible weight of war -- told in an intimate way.

On September 8, 1925 Ossian and Gladys Sweet moved into their first home on an ordinary side street in Detroit. This lecture -- based on Kevin Boyle's prize-winning book -- turns that ordinary event into a story of one of the era's most important civil rights struggles.

Political violence runs through the American experience. In this lecture Kevin Boyle explore two horrific events in modern American history, one from the 1910s, the other from the 1930s. They have no connection whatsoever. Yet once they’re put together they reveal a central dynamic of the brutal violence that has long plagued our nation.

More Distinguished Lectureship Program Resources