Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Amherst College
Website URL
race and class, inequality, twentieth century U.S. history, history of education, history of social thought, history of social science,
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Leah Gordon, Lewis-Sebring Visiting Associate Professor of History and American Studies at Amherst College, holds a joint-Ph.D. in History and Education from the University of Pennsylvania.  A historian of the twentieth century United States, Professor Gordon has particular interests in intellectual history, the history of education, the relationship between social science and social policy, and ideas about race, class, and inequality in modern America.  Professor Gordon’s first book, From Power to Prejudice: The Rise of Racial Individualism in Midcentury America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015),  received the 2016 Linda Eisenmann Prize from the History of Education Society.   Professor Gordon is currently working on a second book, Imagining Opportunity: Education and Equality in Modern America (under contract with the University of Chicago Press), which provides a history of debates over the relationship between schooling and equality of opportunity in American culture and social thought since the 1930s. Professor Gordon’s research has been awarded a number of fellowships, including from the Spencer Foundation, the National Academy of Education, the American Council of Learned Societies, and Stanford University’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.

Recent Publications


Leah N. Gordon, From Power to Prejudice: The Rise of Racial Individualism in Midcentury America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015, paperback 2016)

Leah N. Gordon, “If Opportunity is Not Enough: Coleman and His Critics in the Era of Equality of Results,” in Policy Forum: The Coleman Report, History of Education Quarterly, 57, no. 4 (2017), 601-615.

Leah N. Gordon, “The Individual and ‘The General Situation’: The Tension Barometer and the Race Problem at the University of Chicago, 1947-1954,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 46, no. 1 (2010): 27-51.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century
Expertise by Topic
Capitalism, Children & Youth, Higher Ed, Human Rights, Race