Daniel Immerwahr

Assistant Professor
Department of History
Northwestern University
225 Harris Hall
1881 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208

Email: daniel.immerwahr at

Thinking Small cover


PhD, United States History, University of California, Berkeley, 2011
BA, Modern History, King's College, Cambridge University, 2004
BA, History and Philosophy, Columbia College, Columbia University, 2002


My research centers on three themes: the history of the United States in the world, intellectual history, and the history of capitalism. In addition, I am interested in the methodological aspects of teaching and writing history.

My book, Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development, is due to be published in January 2015 by Harvard University Press. It is based on my dissertation, which won the Allan Nevins prize for North American economic history from the Economic History Association and received honorable mention for the Betty M. Unterberger prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

I am also working on a second book, tentatively entitled How to Hide an Empire: Geography and Power in the Greater United States. It deals with the United States' formal colonies, occupied territories, and military bases.


"Polanyi in the United States: Peter Drucker, Karl Polanyi, and the Midcentury Critique of Economic Society," Journal of the History of Ideas 70 (2009): 445-466. A Japanese translation of this article has been published in Gendai shiso 38 (2010): 141-159.

"The Fact/Narrative Distinction and Student Examinations in History," The History Teacher 41 (2008): 199-206 (click here for preprint).

"Caste or Colony?: Indianizing Race in the United States," Modern Intellectual History 4 (2007): 275-301. Reprinted in India in Bheem Patrika as a three-part series, commencing with the June 2012 issue.

"The Politics of Architecture and Urbanism in Postcolonial Lagos, 1960-1986," Journal of African Cultural Studies 19 (2007): 165-186.

"History and the Sciences," co-authored with Philip Kitcher, in Action, Art, History: Engagements with Arthur Danto, ed. Daniel Herwitz and Michael Kelly (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007), 198-226. Reprinted in Explanation in the Special Sciences: The Case of Biology and History, ed. Andreas Hutterman, Oliver Scholz, and Marie I. Kaiser (New York: Springer, 2014).

Reviews and other writing

Review of Colored Cosmopolitanism: The Shared Struggle for Freedom in the United States and India, by Nico Slate, Journal of Social History 47 (2013): 547-549.

"Charting the Road to Davos: The Rise and Fall of Internationalism," review of Governing the World: The History of an Idea, by Mark Mazower, Dissent, Spring 2013.

"Modernization and Development in U.S. Foreign Relations," review essay, Passport: The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Review, September 2012.

"The Foundation Statesmen," review of Foundations of the American Century, by Inderjeet Parmar, n+1, August 2012.

Joint review of The Great American Mission: Modernization and the Construction of an American World Order, by David Ekbladh, and The Hungry World: America's Cold War Battle against Poverty in Cold War Asia, by Nick Cullather, Agricultural History 86 (2012): 106-108.

Review of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of An American Original, by Robin D. G. Kelley, The Sixties 3 (2010): 247-249 (click here for preprint).

"On B. R. Ambedkar and Black-Dalit Connections," 2008: a short memorandum describing some of the connections between Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar and African Americans, meant as a supplement to the material contained in "Caste or Colony?" A Telugu translation has been published in Bahujana Keratalu, April 2012, 31-32.


Before arriving at Northwestern, I taught courses at UC Berkeley, San Quentin State Prison, and Columbia University. I have also worked for the UC Berkeley History-Social Studies Project and the Stanford History Education Group.

Click here for syllabi and courses taught.

Other projects

My website, The Books of the Century, lists bestsellers, Book-of-the-Month Club selections, and other notable books for every year of the twentieth century. The New Yorker (well, one of the magazine's blogs) called it "a brilliant blend of aggregation and curation."

I designed a series of grade calculators and rosters that students can use to find and predict their grades and teachers can use to record and calculate course averages.

A copy of my CV is available here.