Daniel Immerwahr

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


Email: daniel.immerwahr at


I am a scholar of U.S. and global history, specializing in development, empire, and the history of ideas. My first book, Thinking Small, offers a critical account of the United States' pursuit of grassroots development at home and abroad in the middle of the twentieth century. I'm now writing another book, How to Hide an Empire, about the United States' overseas territory.

My last name is pronounced IM-mer-var, and my Erdös number is 5.

I've taught at Berkeley, Columbia, Northwestern, and San Quentin State Prison. At Northwestern, I offer lectures on global history, U.S. foreign relations, and U.S. intellectual history. Syllabi here.
Select research

How to Hide an Empire: Geography and Power in the Greater United States (FSG, forthcoming)

"The Greater United States: Territory and Empire in U.S. History," Diplomatic History (2016)

Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development
(Harvard, 2015)
2016 Merle Curti Award in Intellectual History (Organization of American Historians)
2016 Annual Book Prize from the Society for U.S. Intellectual History (co-winner)
Reviews: The Nation, Boston Review
Interviews: Dissent, Toynbee Prize Foundation
"Polanyi in the United States: Peter Drucker, Karl Polanyi, and the Midcentury Critique of Economic Society," Journal of the History of Ideas (2009). Japanese translation here.

"Caste or Colony?: Indianizing Race in the United States," Modern Intellectual History (2007)
I wrote a short memo to supplement this research, "On B. R. Ambedkar and Black-Dalit Connections." A Telugu translation is here.
Select reviews and essays
"The Thirty Years' Crisis: Anxiety and Fear in the Midcentury United States," Modern Intellectual History (2016)

"Growth vs. the Climate," Dissent, Spring 2015

"What Did You Do in the War, Doctor?: On Social Scientists and Social Change," n+1, March 2015

"Charting the Road to Davos: The Rise and Fall of Internationalism," Dissent, Spring 2013

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

"The Foundation Statesmen," n+1, August 2012

Other stuff

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.

And, finally, guano: