David Chappell

Rothbaum Professor of Modern American History, University of Oklahoma

    David Chappell works on human rights, mostly in the United States.   He is writing his fourth book, How Corporations became Immortal -- Then Won Constitutional Protection as “Persons.”   His first book, Inside Agitators:  White Southerners in the Civil Rights Movement (Johns Hopkins, 1994), won a Gustavus Myers Award for Outstanding Book on Human Rights in North America.    The Atlantic Monthly called his second book, A Stone of Hope:  Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow (University of North Carolina, 2004), “one of the three or four most important books on civil rights.”  The New York Times called it “a spectacular work” that is “intricate, dazzling in its reach into so many corners of black and white southern life, and fascinating at every turn.”   His third book, Waking from the Dream:  The Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King (Random House, 2014), drew such comments as:  “the kind of clear-eyed analysis of our post-civil rights worlds of politics and memory work that we desperately need” (Jonathan Holloway of Yale University, author of Jim Crow Wisdom); “Chappell brilliantly recovers the usually neglected ferment and experimentation of a generation of Americans who tried to make good on the goals of the civil rights movement” (Tony Badger of Cambridge University, author of The New Deal); and “Beautifully written and thought-provoking” (Carol Anderson of Emory University, author of Eyes off the Prize).   His research has been funded by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.   He was a Fulbright Lecturer at Moscow State University in Russia.   His reviews and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, the Raleigh News & Observer, Sekai (Tokyo), Tempo (Rio de Janeiro),  In These Times, Books & Culture, The Nation, The African American Review, The Journal of American Studies, the Georgia Historical Quarterly, The Journal of the Historical Society, Social Research, The World Policy Journal, American Historical Review, Journal of American History, Journal of Southern History, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, beliefnet.com, Historically Speaking, We’re History, and other publications.   He grew up in Chicago & went to high school in Evanston.  He got his B.A. at Yale and his Ph.D. in American History (minor fields: Economic History, Modern Europe) at the University of Rochester.  He teaches courses on human rights, intellectual history, and constitutional history.   He expects soon to be teaching new courses on American Presidents and the Presidency, American Economic History, and Big Business in America.   


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