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Edward Miller

Teaching Professor of History

College of Social Sciences and Humanities; College of Professional Studies

Edward H. Miller is a Full Teaching Professor and political historian who teaches the history of the U.S. in the world, specializing in the far right and conservatism in the U.S. in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. His latest book A Conspiratorial Life: Robert Welch, the John Birch Society, and the Revolution of American Conservatism (University of Chicago Press, 2022) is the first full-scale biography of Robert Welch, who founded the John Birch Society. He shows how the John Birch Society’s rabid libertarianism—and its highly effective grassroots networking—became a profound, yet often ignored or derided influence on the modern Republican Party. He connects the accusatory conservatism of the midcentury John Birch Society to the inflammatory rhetoric of the Tea Party, the Trump administration, Q, and more. His first book Nut Country: Right-Wing Dallas and the Birth of the Southern Strategy (University of Chicago Press, 2015) explores how a group of influential far-right businessmen, religious leaders, and political operatives developed a potent mix of hardline anticommunism, biblical literalism, and racism to generate a violent populism–and widespread power. His essay “They Vote Only for the Spoils: Massachusetts Reformers, Suffrage Restriction, and the 1884 Civil Service Law,” appeared in The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. His contributions have appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, Time Magazine, Salon, and on National Public Radio. He is currently working on a book manuscript about Rush Limbaugh in the 1990s. He has previously worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and Beacon Hill in Boston, Massachusetts.

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