Collection : American Institutions and Society

History happens in and through institutions. Social scientists and political historians have rediscovered the importance of institutions, placing them in their broader cultural and social context. Far less attention has been devoted to the ways in which core institutions have influenced the social and cultural landscape around them. This is despite the fact that it is in institutions that we all engage in history, understand ourselves, reform our culture, and ultimately act in ways that make concrete differences in society. The American Institutions and Society series turns our attention toward the crucial organizations and practices that define the history of the United States of America. Guided by the understanding that these institutions both reflect and affect trends in society, books in the series will show us the complex relationship among institutions and individuals in the social, psychological, cultural, political, and economic facets of their lives.

About the Editors

Brian Balogh is Professor of History, Director and Chair of the Miller Center National Fellowship Program, and Compton Professor at the University of Virginia. His publications include A Government Out of Sight: The Mystery of National Authority in Nineteenth-Century America (Cambridge University Press).

Jonathan Zimmerman is Professor of Education and History at New York University and Director of the History of Education Program at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. His publications include Too Hot to Handle: A Global History of Sex Education (Princeton University Press).


Please note: This series has concluded and will not be accepting any more submissions. 

    sort list by title

The Experts' War on Poverty
Social Research and the Welfare Agenda in Postwar America
Romain D. Huret
In the critically acclaimed La Fin de la Pauverté?, Romain D. Huret identifies a network of experts who were dedicated to the post-World War II battle against poverty in the United States. John Angell's translation of Huret's work brings to light for an English-speaking audience this critical set of intellectuals working in federal government...

For the Common Good
A New History of Higher Education in America
Charles Dorn
Are colleges and universities in a period of unprecedented disruption? Is a bachelor's degree still worth the investment? Are the humanities coming to an end? What, exactly, is higher education good for?In For the Common Good, Charles Dorn challenges the rhetoric of America’s so-called crisis in higher education by investigating two centuries...

Two Weeks Every Summer
Fresh Air Children and the Problem of Race in America
Tobin Miller Shearer
Two Weeks Every Summer, which is based on extensive oral history interviews with former guests, hosts, and administrators in Fresh Air programs, opens a new chapter in the history of race in the United...

A New Moral Vision
Gender, Religion, and the Changing Purposes of American Higher Education, 1837-1917
Andrea L. Turpin
In A New Moral Vision, Andrea L. Turpin explores how the entrance of women into U.S. colleges and universities shaped changing ideas about the moral and religious purposes of higher education in unexpected ways, and in turn profoundly shaped American...

The Fight for Local Control
Schools, Suburbs, and American Democracy
Campbell F. Scribner
In The Fight for Local Control, Campbell F. Scribner demonstrates how, in the decades after World War II, suburban communities appropriated legacies of rural education to assert their political autonomy and in the process radically changed educational...

Armed with Expertise
The Militarization of American Social Research during the Cold War
Joy Rohde
During the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon launched a controversial counterinsurgency program called the Human Terrain System. The program embedded social scientists within military units to provide commanders with information about the cultures and grievances of local populations. Yet the controversy it inspired was...

The History of a Founding Ideal from the American Revolution to the Twenty-First Century
Joseph F. Kett
The idea that citizens' advancement should depend exclusively on merit, on qualities that deserve reward rather than on bloodlines or wire-pulling, was among the Founding ideals of the American republic, Joseph F. Kett argues in this book.

An Education in Politics
The Origins and Evolution of No Child Left Behind
Jesse H. Rhodes
In this work, Jesse H. Rhodes shows how the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 and its prescriptive policies arose out of the dynamic of decentralized authority established in the American federal...

Rochdale Village
Robert Moses, 6,000 Families, and New York City's Great Experiment in Integrated Housing
Peter Eisenstadt
The history of Rochdale Village in Queens, New York, once the world's largest housing coop, from its planning, to the civil rights demonstrations at its construction site in 1963, through the late 1970s, ending with a look at life in Rochdale today.

Connect with us