Kevin Mattson is Connor Study Professor of Contemporary History at Ohio University and faculty associate with the Contemporary History Institute.  His work explores the broad intersections between ideas and politics in 20th century America.  He is author of numerous books, including Just Plain Dick: Richard Nixon’s Checkers Speech and the “Rocking, Socking” Election of 1952 (2012), available as audio CD; “What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President?”: Jimmy Carter, America’s Malaise, and the Speech that Should have Changed the Country (2009); Rebels All!: A Short History of the Conservative Mind in Postwar America(2008), winner of a Choice “Outstanding Academic Title” Award; Upton Sinclair and the Other American Century (2006); and When America Was Great:The Fighting Faith of Postwar Liberalism (2004, 1st edition, 2006, 2nd edition).  He has co-written and co-edited numerous other books, and his articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Nation, The American Prospect, Chronicle of Higher Education,, and other publications.  He has appeared on numerous talk radio shows as well as Fox News, NPR, C-Span Book TV, and the Colbert Report.  He is an affiliated scholar at the Center for American Progress; active in the American Association of University Professors (AAUP); and on the editorial board of Dissent magazine.

His next book, The Big Takeover, on the punk movement and the politics of Reagan, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.



“Mattson’s excellent book is a timely companion to the current election season. The question is: Who’s playing Nixon?” – Kirkus

“Ohio University professor Mattson looks back at Nixon as a whistle-stop ‘political salesman’ in this panoramic exploration of egghead politics, Hollywood films, television culture, and op-ed press buzz.” – Publishers Weekly