Headshot of Robert Self as he appears in a video series for the Choices Program.

Robert Self

Brown University

Robert Self is Mary Ann Lippitt Professor of American History at Brown University. A historian of modern American history, Self is the author of All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy since the 1960s (Hill and Wang 2012), a history of a half-century of gender and sexual politics in the United States, and American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland (Princeton, 2003), an award-winning study of metropolitan politics featuring the simultaneous rise of the tax revolt and black power in California in the decades after World War II.

He is also co-editor, with Margot Canaday and Nancy Cott, of Intimate States: Gender, Sexuality, and Governance in Modern U.S. History (University of Chicago, 2021) about the modern history of the American state’s power in, and over, people’s intimate lives. A former Guggenheim and Burkhardt Fellow, Self is now at work on a book entitled “Driven: The Rise and Fall of the Hydrocarbon Middle Class,” about houses, cars, and children in the making of the modern middle-class family and the modern energy regime. Additionally, with James Henretta, Eric Hinderaker, and Rebecca Edwards, he is the author of America’s History, a comprehensive college and AP high school U.S. history textbook. 

Self’s videos are part of the following Choices Program curriculum units:

The Vietnam War: Origins, History, and Legacies
Racial Slavery in the Americas: Resistance, Freedom, and Legacies
Freedom Now: The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi

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