Susan Strasser

Susan Strasser

Susan Strasser has been praised by the New Yorker for "retrieving what history discards: the taken-for-granted minutiae of everyday life." Her major books—Never Done: A History of American Housework (1982); Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market (1989); and Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash (1999)—have won a number of awards for their contributions to women's history, the history of technology and business, and environmental history, and have been translated into Italian, Korean, and Japanese. She is Richards Professor Emerita of American History at the University of Delaware and has also taught at the Evergreen State College, George Washington University, Princeton University, and the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim foundations, the German Historical Institute, the Harvard Business School, the American Council of Learned Societies, Radcliffe College's Bunting Institute, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Cultures of Consumption Research Programme, Birkbeck College, University of London. She is currently working on two projects: "A White Historian Reads Black History," a series of talks for religious and community groups, and "A Historical Herbal," an account of medicinal plants in American culture.

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Twitter: @strassersusan.


  • A White Historian Confronts American Slavery
  • A White Historian Confronts Lynching
  • A White Historian Explores Black Voting Rights
  • A White Historian Reads Black History: A One-Person, Homemade Public History Project
  • Living in the Material World: American Housework in Historical Perspective
  • Rags, Bones, and Plastic Bags: Trash and Recycling in Industrial America
  • Snake Oil Revisited: Household Medicine and Herbal Commerce in a Developing Consumer Society
  • Woolworth to Wal-Mart: Mass Merchandising and the Changing Culture of Consumption
  • The Alien Past: American Consumer Culture in Historical Perspective

Process: A Blog for American History

Snake Oil Revisited: Household Medicine and the Condescension of Posterity