Dr Tom Arnold-Forster

Research Fellow, Gonville and Caius College
Dr Tom Arnold-Forster

I'm a historian of the United States in the twentieth century. My research interests are in political, intellectual, and cultural history. I did my graduate training in Cambridge and have held fellowships at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, and at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

I'm currently writing an intellectual biography of the journalist and democratic theorist Walter Lippmann. The book is under contract with Princeton University Press and some of my early findings have been published in Modern Intellectual History.

My next project will explore the relationship between publicity and corruption in the United States, from muckraking journalism to the Watergate scandal. I also have research interests in the histories of social science, media, and jazz.

For undergraduates, I mostly teach Paper 24 in Part I: the History of the United States since 1865. For graduate students, I've taught a course on "Democracy in American Historiography" for the MPhil in American History.


Tags & Themes


Gonville and Caius College
Cambridge, CB2 1TA


Key Publications

"Rethinking the Scopes Trial: Cultural Conflict, Media Spectacle, and Circus Politics," Journal of American Studies (forthcoming in print; published online May 2021).

"New Histories of American Newspapers," Historical Journal 63, No. 5 (2020): 1390-1400.

"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.

Other Publications

Review of At the Center: American Thought and Culture in the Mid-Twentieth Century by Casey Nelson Blake, Daniel H. Borus, and Howard Brick, American Political Thought 10, No. 1 (2021): 158-60.

Review of Democracy in Exile: Hans Speier and the Rise of the Defense Intellectual by Daniel Bessner, Global Intellectual History 5, No. 4 (2020): 390-95.