John Pettegrew

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Professor and Chair



PHD, Wisconsin,1994


20th Century U.S., Intellectual, Cultural


I teach and write about the modern United States, specializing in the history of thought, culture, war, and visual culture.  I’m very interested in developing public history, the digital humanities, and documentary film to engage local communities and general public on timely matters of social justice.  I am Chairperson of Lehigh University’s History Department.  I also long directed and am an active core member of the school’s American Studies Program; and I am co-founder of its South Side Initiative.

I am co-editor of the three- volume work, Public Women, Public Words: A Documentary History of American Feminism; author and editor of A Pragmatist’s Progress: Richard Rorty and American Intellectual History; and author of the book Brutes in Suits: Male Sensibility in America, 1890-1920, an examination of the putatively male instinct of aggressiveness as constructed in modern U.S. social science, law, literature, and sports and military cultures. My recent book is Light It Up:  The Marine Eye for Battle in the War for Iraq.  And my current research project is Love and the American Left:  An Intellectual Biography.