OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021

Kevin M. Kruse

Portrait of Kevin M. Kruse
Image Credit: Ricardo Barros

A professor of history at Princeton University, Kevin M. Kruse studies the political, social, and urban/suburban history of twentieth-century America, with particular interest in the making of modern conservatism. Focusing on conflicts over race, rights, and religion, he also studies the postwar South and modern suburbia. Kruse is the author of White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (2005), One Nation under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (2015) and Fault Lines: A History of the United States since 1974 (2019, co-authored with Julian E. Zelizer), as well as a coeditor of three collections: The New Suburban History (2006); Spaces of the Modern City (2008); and Fog of War: The Second World War and the Civil Rights Movement (2012). He is currently researching his next book, The Division: John Doar, the Justice Department and the Civil Rights Movement.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

The point man for civil rights for the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, Doar was a vital actor in countless crisis moments in the civil rights movement — personally confronting segregationists at the University of Mississippi and the University of Alabama, putting Klansmen on trial for the murders of civil rights workers (including the famous “Mississippi Burning” murders), helping draft the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, literally leading the way in the Selma-to-Montgomery March, etc. The previously-untapped papers of Doar provide new insights into these civil rights milestones as well as a new understanding of the ways in which the federal government worked (and didn’t work) during the racial revolution unfolding across the South.