How to Hide an Empire: Telling the Story of the Greater United States

Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 4:30pm

Dr. Immerwahr received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University, where he studied history and philosophy. Then, funded by a Marshall scholarship, he received a second BA, this time at King’s College at Cambridge University with a thesis on African architecture under the supervision of John Lonsdale. He received his doctoral degree in history at the University of California, Berkeley, studying under the intellectual historian David Hollinger. His dissertation won the Allan Nevins Prize in American Economic History from the Economic History Association, and it received honorable mention for the Betty M. Unterberger Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

In 2011-12, Dr. Immerwahr was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University’s Committee on Global Thought. In fall 2012, he joined Northwestern University’s history department.

His first book, Thinking Small (Harvard, 2015), offers a critical account of the United States’ pursuit of grassroots development at home and abroad in the middle of the twentieth century. It won the Merle Curti Prize in Intellectual History from the Organization of American Historians and was the co-winner of the Annual Book Prize from the Society for U.S. Intellectual History. Also, in 2015 he received the Stuart L. Bernath Lecture Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, given every year to a younger scholar for “excellence in teaching and research in the field of foreign relations.”

His second book, How to Hide an Empire (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019) is about the United States’ territorial empire: colonies, occupation zones, and military bases. Dr. Immerwahr is currently researching in two areas: the popular culture of twentieth-century U.S. foreign relations and urban environmental catastrophes of the nineteenth century.

Dr. Immerwahr’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New Republic, The Guardian, The Nation, Slate, Diplomatic History, Modern Intellectual History, the Journal of the History of Ideas, the Journal of African Cultural Studies, Modern American History, Jacobin, n+1 and Dissent, among other venues.

International Relations
Global Crisis
Foreign Policy/Diplomacy