Kevin M. Kruse

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Kevin M. Kruse
Kevin Michael Kruse.jpg
Kruse in 2015
Kevin Michael Kruse

1972 (age 48–49)
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisWhite Flight[1] (2000)
Doctoral advisorRichard Polenberg[2]
Academic work
InstitutionsPrinceton University Edit this at Wikidata

Kevin Michael Kruse (born 1972) is an American historian. He is professor of history at Princeton University. His research interests include the political, social, and urban/suburban history of 20th-century America, with a particular focus on the making of modern conservatism.[3][4] Outside of academia, Kruse has attracted substantial attention and following for his Twitter threads where he provides historical context and applies historical research to current political events.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Kruse was born in Kansas City, Kansas, to a conservative middle-class family; his father was an accountant, and he has three siblings. He moved with his family to Nashville, Tennessee, where he attended Montgomery Bell Academy.[3]

Kruse graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He received his Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University.[3] He wrote his PhD dissertation on white flight in Atlanta.[3]


In 2000, Kruse joined the faculty of the Princeton University Department of History.[5][6] In 2019, Kruse was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in General Nonfiction by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation to support archival research for his next book, The Division: John Doar, the Justice Department, and the Civil Rights Movement.[7] In May 2020, Kruse was elected to the Society of American Historians.[8]


White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism[edit]

In 2005, Kruse wrote White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism, which explores the links between the resistance to desegregation and the rise of modern conservatism.[9][10] The book won the 2007 Francis B. Simkins Award for best first book by an author in the field of southern history from the Southern Historical Association[11] and the 2007 Malcolm and Muriel Barrow Bell Award for the best book on Georgia History from the Georgia Historical Society.[12] It was also co-winner of the 2007 Best Book Award in Urban Politics from the Urban Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.[12]

One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America[edit]

In 2015, Kruse wrote One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America.[13] Historian D. G. Hart wrote: "America was founded in 1776, but it was only in 1953, with the inauguration of Dwight David Eisenhower as the 34th president, that it became a Christian nation. Such is Kevin M. Kruse’s thesis and, after reading “One Nation Under God,” it makes perfect sense."[14]

Writing for The New York Times, historian Michael Kazin said: "Kruse tells a big and important story about the mingling of religiosity and politics since the 1930s. Still, he oversells his basic premise. Americans easily accepted placing God’s name on their currency and in the oath children recite every school day because similar invocations were already routine in public discourse — from the Declaration’s reference to the “unalienable Rights” endowed by the “Creator” to the official chaplains who have opened sessions of the House and Senate with a prayer since 1789."[15]

Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974[edit]

In 2019, Kruse co-authored Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974 with Julian E. Zelizer; the book is based on the course that they created together at Princeton University, The United States Since 1974.[16]

Michaelangelo Matos, writing for Rolling Stone, praised the book as "a sharp summation of how we moved from post-New Deal liberalism to an increasingly hard-right philosophy", saying that "its deep detail and taut-as-a-thriller pacing make up for the repetition" of its premise that "from the 1970s on, the United States would seem less and less united with each passing decade”.[17] Barton Swaim, writing for The Wall Street Journal, was more critical, saying: "In “Fault Lines,” conservatives are almost invariably the aggressors in the culture wars and so primarily responsible for the widening gulf between Americans of left and right." He concluded, "Messrs. Kruse and Zelizer miss perhaps the most relevant fault line of our time: the line between disdainful elites who equate reality with their own interpretations and everybody else."[18]

Twitter threads[edit]

Kruse joined Twitter in February 2015 at the request of the publisher of One Nation Under God.[19] In September 2015, Kruse posted his first Twitter thread in response to a tweet by Joe Scarborough describing Barack Obama as the "most partisan president ever"; in the thread, Kruse argued that Obama's early years in office "showed bipartisan outreach we have not seen in the modern era before".[20][21]

In July 2018, Kruse posted a Twitter thread naming several Dixiecrats who had switched their political affiliations to the Republican Party in response to a tweeted challenge by right-wing political commentator Dinesh D'Souza to name the Dixiecrats who switched to the Republican Party in protest of the Democratic Party's embrace of the civil rights movement.[3][22] Later, D'Souza falsely claimed that in the time of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican Party supported protecting the rights of legal immigrants; Kruse responded by noting that there was no distinction between legal and illegal immigrants at the time.[3] Kruse gained additional prominence from these tweets,[3][20] with his Twitter following growing to 160,000 over the next three months.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Kruse self-identifies as a liberal, though he has stated that he is "too amenable to compromise and coalition-building to be an avatar of the far left".[3] Kruse and his wife have two children, a daughter and a son.[3] He is a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs.[23]


  • White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (Princeton University Press, 2005) ISBN 9780691133867
  • The New Suburban History (University of Chicago Press, 2006), co-edited with Thomas Sugrue ISBN 9780226456621
  • co-edited with Gyan Prakash, Spaces of the Modern City (Princeton University Press, 2008), ISBN 9780691133393
  • Fog of War: The Second World War and the Civil Rights Movement (Oxford University Press, 2012), co-edited with Stephen Tuck
  • One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (Basic Books, 2015) ISBN 9780465097418
  • with Julian E. Zelizer, Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974 (W. W. Norton & Company, 2019), ISBN 9780393357707

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kruse, Kevin Michael (2000). White Flight: Resistance to Desegregation of Neighborhoods, Schools and Businesses in Atlanta, 1946–1966 (PhD thesis). Ithaca, New York: Cornell University. OCLC 53060905.
  2. ^ Bernstein, Mark F. (October 23, 2019). "#History in 280 Characters". Princeton Alumni Weekly. Vol. 120 no. 3. p. 16. ISSN 0149-9270. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Pettit, Emma (December 16, 2018). "How Kevin Kruse Became History's Attack Dog". The Chronicle of Higher Education. ISSN 0009-5982. Archived from the original on March 1, 2021. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  4. ^ Kruse, Kevin M. (August 28, 2015). "About". Kevin M. Kruse. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  5. ^ Kruse, Kevin. "". Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  6. ^ "Kevin M. Kruse | Department of History". Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  7. ^ "Guggenheim Fellow- Kevin M. Kruse".
  8. ^ Valenti, Denise (May 14, 2020). "Kruse elected to Society of American Historians". Princeton University. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  9. ^ Kruse, Kevin M. (July 29, 2007). White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13386-7.
  10. ^ Cheney-Rice, Zak (December 2, 2020). "Trump's Racist Urban Myth Hides His Suburban Failures". New York. Retrieved June 6, 2021. According to Kevin Kruse’s history of the region, White Flight, which explores the links between white backlash against desegregation and the rise of modern conservatism ...
  11. ^ "Southern Historical Association - Awards". Archived from the original on September 11, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Kruse, Kevin M. (July 29, 2007). Kruse, K.M.: White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism. ISBN 9780691133867.
  13. ^ Kruse, Kevin (April 14, 2015). One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-04949-3.
  14. ^ Hart, D. G. (June 9, 2015). "The World Ike Wrought". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  15. ^ Kazin, Michael (May 15, 2015). "'One Nation Under God,' by Kevin M. Kruse". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on February 2, 2021. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  16. ^ Kruse, Kevin Michael; Zelizer, Julian E. (2019). Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974. W.W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-08866-3.
  17. ^ Matos, Michaelangelo (January 27, 2019). "Book Review: 'Fault Lines' is an Excellent History of U.S. Political Dysfunction". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  18. ^ Swaim, Barton (January 13, 2019). "'Fault Lines' Review: How Did We Get Here?". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  19. ^ Sommers, Shannon. "An Interview with Kevin Kruse, History Professor and Twitter Legend". The Politic. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  20. ^ a b Perry, David M. (November 28, 2018). "How to Beat Demagogues Using History". Pacific Standard. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  21. ^ Kruse, Kevin M. (September 11, 2015). "Obama's first years in office showed bipartisan outreach we have not seen in the modern era before. He's the *least* partisan president. /3". Twitter. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  22. ^ Heer, Jeet (July 3, 2018). "Dinesh D'Souza gets a history lesson on Twitter". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  23. ^ "An America forged in the crucible of Trump: A Q&A with historian Kevin Kruse". January 4, 2021. Retrieved June 24, 2021. Kruse: Well, that’s easy — my Chiefs won the Super Bowl. I waited my whole life for this.

External links[edit]