The Oxford Handbook of American Political History

Edited by Donald Critchlow

American political and policy history has revived since the turn of the twenty-first century. After social and cultural history emerged as dominant forces to reveal the importance of class, race, and gender within the United States, the application of this line of work to American politics and policy followed. In addition, social movements, particularly the civil rights and feminism, helped rekindle political and policy history. As a result, a new generation of historians turned their attention to American politics. Their new approach still covers traditional subjects, but more often it combines an interest in the state, politics, and policy with other specialties (urban, labor, social, and race, among others) within the history and social science disciplines.

The Oxford Handbook of American Political History incorporates and reflects this renaissance of American political history. It not only provides a chronological framework but also illustrates fundamental political themes and debates about public policy, including party systems, women in politics, political advertising, religion, and more. Chapters on economy, defense, agriculture, immigration, transportation, communication, environment, social welfare, health care, drugs and alcohol, education, and civil rights trace the development and shifts in American policy history. This collection of essays by 29 distinguished scholars offers a comprehensive overview of American politics and policy.


Donald Critchlow is Katzin Family Professor of History at Arizona State University.

The Oxford Handbook of American Political History book cover
Date published
Oxford University Press

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