Born 1966, Long Beach, California
Ph.D. Yale University, December 1994
M.Phil. Yale University, May 1992
M.A. Yale University, May 1990
B.A. University of California, Berkeley, Highest Distinction, May 1988
Professor of History, Fordham University (2015-)
Associate Professor of History, Fordham University (2011-2015)
Visiting Associate Professor of History, Fordham University (2008-2011)
Associate Professor of History, Yale University (2002-2007)
Assistant Professor of History, Yale University (1996-2002)
Lecturer in History, Yale University (1994-96)
Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia (New York: FSG/Hill & Wang, 2017; paper edition, 2018).
Reviewed in: New York Times, New York Times Book Review, New York Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, Minneapolis-St Paul Star Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, ProPublica, Boston Review, International Socialist Review, Southern Spaces, Publisher’s Weekly, Choice, Kirkus Review
The Great Delusion: A Mad Inventor, Death in the Tropics, and the Utopian Origins of Economic Growth
(New York: FSG/Hill & Wang, 2008; paper, 2009).
U.S. Environmentalism Since 1945, A Brief History With Documents
(New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, Bedford Series in History and Culture, 2006).
Larding the Lean Earth: Soil and Society in Nineteenth-Century America (New York: FSG/Hill & Wang, 2002; paper, 2003).
The Fruits of Natural Advantage: Making the Industrial Countryside in California (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1998).
ACADEMIC ARTICLES & CHAPTERS
“Talking Trash,” Reviews in American History 46(2018): 345-350.
“Plowed Earth Policies,” Reviews in American History 44 (2016): 104-109.
“The Captured Garden,” International Labor and Working-Class History 85 (Spring 2013): 1-22.
“A Metabolism of Society: Capitalism for Environmental Historians,” in The Oxford Handbook of Environmental History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).
“Nowhere, Fast: George Inness’s Short Cut and Agrarian Dispossession,” Environmental History 18 (Winter 2013): 786-794.
“Farm Against Forest,” in Michael Lewis, ed., American Wilderness (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).
“The Smallholder's Dilemma,” Journal of Technology and Culture 47 (October 2006): 808-813.
“Insects and Institutions: University Science and the Fruit Business in California,” Agricultural History 69 (Spring 1995): 216-239.
“Theorizing the Mountains,” part of “A Roundtable on Appalachian Environmental History,” Environmental History Review (in press)
“Chaplin and Marx in Conversation: On Working and Being in Modern Times,” Public Seminar (September 21, 2020), publicseminar.org.
“A Monument to Dis-Union: The West Virginia Coal Miner Statue Ignores Race, Class, and History,” Public Seminar (July 17, 2020), publicseminar.org.
Roundtable: “Why Does Agricultural History Matter?” Agricultural History 93(Fall 2019).
“No Man’s Land: On the Contradictions of Private Property,” Orion Magazine (February 2016).
“The Mismeasure of All Things: How GDP Distorts Economic Reality,” Orion Magazine (September-October 2012).
“Agrarian Anxieties,” Harper’s Magazine (July 2010).
“Toward A Second Haitian Revolution, Harper’s Magazine (April 2010).
“The Cold We Caused,” Harper’s Magazine (November 2009).
“Fictitious Commodities: The Delusion of Growth on Wall Street,” The Chronicle Review of The Chronicle of Higher Education (October 3, 2008).
“Pattern Recognition,” in Lapham’s Quarterly 1 (Summer 2008).
“The Best Hated Man: A Life With Karl Marx,” The New Haven Review 1 (May 2008).
“Fear of Fallowing: The Specter of a No-Growth World” Harper’s Magazine (March 2008).
“Postmodern Farming, Quietly Flourishing,” The Chronicle Review of The Chronicle of Higher Education (cover story, June 21, 2002).
“The Torch and the Hearth,” The Atlantic (August 1998).
HONORS & AWARDS
Appointed “Distinguished Lecturer” by the Organization of American Historians (2017-2020 and 2020-2023).
Among the “100 Top Young Historians,” History News Network, George Mason University (2010).
Elected to Membership in the American Antiquarian Society (2009).
Finalist: The Mark Lynton History Prize, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard.
Larding the Lean Earth was among two finalists out of 229 entries (March 2003).
The Heyman Prize, for an outstanding manuscript on any subject in the humanities, for The Fruits of Natural Advantage, Yale University (July 1998).
W. Turrentine Jackson Award, presented by the American Historical Association, Pacific Coast Branch “to the author of the most outstanding dissertation on any aspect of the history of the American West in the twentieth century” (August 1995).
Phi Alpha Theta/Westerners International Award for the best doctoral dissertation in western history (August 1995).
Frederick W. Beinecke Prize, awarded by the Graduate School at Yale University “for an outstanding doctoral dissertation in the field of Western American History” (May 1995).
North American Environmental History
The Country and the City
Environmental History of New York City (in conjunction with the New York Historical Society)
The Agrarian Republic
History of the American Indians
History of Capitalism
Climate and Society
Readings in Environmental History (graduate seminar)
RECENT CONSULTING & INTERVIEWS
Podcast, Twice Over. Episode 17: Speaking for the Trees (Available on Spotify, June 11, 2020).
Consultant and Interviewee for The Feud, produced by Rebecca Taylor and Randall Maclowry, directed by Randall Maclowry, a documentary on the Hatfield and McCoy feud for The American Experience on PBS (interview, March 2019; air date, September 10, 2019).
C-SPAN, Panel discussion for Tom Hansell, After Coal at Book Culture in New York City, sponsored by Harper’s Magazine (February 6, 2019).
Podcast, New Books Network (September 19, 2018).
Podcast, Writer’s Voice (writersvoice.net, August 13, 2018).
C-SPAN, Panel discussion on Appalachia at the Virginia Festival of the Book (March 24, 2018).
WNYC. Guest on “Midday,” January 2, 2018.
C-SPAN. “Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia,” a lecture to the New School for Social Research, aired on January 7, 2018.
New York Times Book Review. Ramp Hollow reviewed by J.D. Vance (December 10, 2017).
WFUV. Guest, spoke about the history of Thanksgiving and the domestication of maize (November 23, 2013).