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Dr Tom Arnold-Forster

Dr Tom Arnold-Forster

Research Fellow, Gonville and Caius College

Harvey Court
Gonville and Caius College
West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DS

Subject groups/Research projects

American History:

Departments and Institutes

Gonville & Caius College:

Research Interests

I'm interested in the political, intellectual, and cultural history of the United States from the late nineteenth century to the present. Most of my research explores debates about democracy from the early twentieth century, though I've also worked on midcentury literary culture and on the history of jazz. I'm currently writing an intellectual biography of the journalist and theorist Walter Lippmann.


For undergraduates, I mostly teach Paper 24 in Part I: the History of the United States since 1865. I've also taught Papers 1 and 5 in Part II: Historical Argument and Practice, and Political Philosophy and the History of Political Thought since c. 1890. For graduate students, I teach a course on "Democracy in American Historiography" for the MPhil in American History.

In 2019-20, I'll be away from Cambridge on a long-term fellowship at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Key Publications


"Democracy and Expertise in the Lippmann-Terman Controversy," Modern Intellectual History 16, No. 2 (2019): 561-92.

"Dr. Billy Taylor, 'America's Classical Music,' and the Role of the Jazz Ambassador," Journal of American Studies 51, No. 1 (2017): 117-39.

Reviews and essays:

"Democratic Dilemmas of the Cold War," review essay on Democracy in Exile: Hans Speier and the Rise of the Defense Intellectual by Daniel Bessner, Global Intellectual History (forthcoming).

"Borgland," review of The House of Truth: A Washington Political Salon and the Foundations of American Liberalism by Brad Snyder, Dissent (25 October 2017).