Social & Education Policy

Colin Gordon

  • Distinguished Faculty Affiliate, Social and Education Policy Research Program
  • Professor, Department of History
  • Senior Research Consultant, Iowa Policy Project


Colin Gordon's research and teaching interests focus on the history of public policy in the United States. He is the author of New Deals: Business, Labor and Politics, 1920-1935 (1994), Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health Care in Twentieth Century America (2003), and Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City (2008), and Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality (2013). His recent work has employed historical GIS and data visualization, and includes the web-based projects Mapping Decline and The Telltale Chart. He is a regular contributor to Dissent, where he writes on politics and the economy. In partnership with the Public Policy Center, he co-teaches the "Big Ideas" course and a regular course, "Equality, Opportunity, and Public Policy in America," each Fall semester.

Research Interests

  • Labor policy
  • Health care policy
  • Economic development
  • Urban history
  • Historical GIS

Educational Background

  • PhD, History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990
  • MA, History, York University, Toronto, Canada, 1986