Donald Critchlow

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SHPRS History Faculty
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Donald T. Critchlow serves as Director of the ASU Center for Political Thought and Leadership. The Center's mission is to promote a greater understanding of the foundations of democratic society through undergraduate education, scholarly research, and civic involvement. The Center sponsors public lectures, academic seminars, internships, and scholarly research projects. The Center supports post-doctoral programs, an undergraduate certificate program in Political Thought and Leadership, the Journal of Policy History, student reading groups, and public education programs.

His most recent books include American Political History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2015), and  When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Moguls, Film Stars, and Big Business Remade American Politics, published by Cambridge University Press in 2013. Other publications include The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Made Political History (Harvard University Press, 2007; rev. and updated edition University Press of Kansas. 2011); Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism (Princeton University Press, 2005); Intended Consequences: Birth Control, Abortion, and the Federal Government (Oxford University Press, 1999, pap. 2001); Studebaker: The Life and Death of an American Corporations (Indiana University Press, 1997); and the Brookings Institution: Expertise and the Public Interest in a Democratic Society (Northern Illinois University Press, 1989). He is general editor for the new Oxford Encyclopedia of American Political and Legal History.

He is currently writing a book, Strange Bedfellows : Presidential Character and Leadership, and co-editing with Paula Baker, The Oxford Handbook on American Political History for Oxford University Press.

Critchlow teaches courses on American conservatism, political thought, political conspiracy, and contemporary American history.

After receiving his doctoral degree in History from the University of California, Berkeley, Critchlow became a professor at the University of Notre Dame and later chair of the History Department at Saint Louis University. He has been a visiting professor at Hong Kong University and Warsaw University. He has lectured extensively in the United States, Europe, and China. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Policy History, a quarterly published by Cambridge University Press.

His books are regularly reviewed in the New York Times Book Review, New Republic, National Review,  The Nation,  The New Yorker, Washington Post Book Review, and other magazines and newspapers. He has appeared on C-Span Books, NPR's Talk of the Nation, BBC World News, and numerous talk-radio programs. 


Research interest: 

 My research interests lie in modern American political and policy history, particularly in how actors perceive the world and act on their perceptions.