David Farber

David Farber
  • Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor
  • Director of Graduate Studies
  • Modern U.S. History

Contact Info

Wescoe Hall, Room 3608
Office Hours: In Person
Mon. & Fri. | 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM


Ph.D. in American History, University of Chicago, 1985
M.A. in American History, University of Chicago, 1981
with honors
B.A. in History & English, University of Michigan, 1979
with high honors and distinction


Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor, History, University of Kansas

Selected Publications


War on Drugs: A History, editor, October 2021 

Crack: Rock Cocaine, Street Capitalism, and the Decade of Greed, 2019  

Beyond Pearl Harbor: A Pacific History, co-edited with Beth Bailey, 2019

Everybody Ought to Be Rich: The Life and Times of John J. Raskob, Capitalist, 2013

The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism, 2010

What They Think of US: International Perceptions of the United States Since 9/11, editor, 2007

The Fifties Chronicle, co-lead writer and co-head consultant with Beth Bailey, 2006

America in the 1970s, co-edited with Beth Bailey, 2004

Taken Hostage: The Iran Hostage Crisis and America’s First Encounter with Radical Islam, 2004

The Sixties Chronicle, lead writer and head consultant, 2004

The Conservative Sixties, co-edited with Jeff Roche, 2003

Sloan Rules: Alfred P. Sloan and the Triumph of General Motors, 2002 

The Columbia Guide to America in the 1960s, co-authored with Beth Bailey and contributors, 2001

The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s, 1994

The '60s: From Memory to History, editor, 1994

The First Strange Place: The Alchemy of Sex and Race in WWII Hawaii co-authored with Beth Bailey, 1992

Chicago '68, 1988

Other Work

Historical Advisor, “Taken Hostage” (4 hour documentary), Robert Stone Productions, PBS, 2022

Interview, “Hostage Diplomacy” (10 minutes), “Rear Vision,” ABC-RN Radio (Australia), August 2022

Interview, “Iran Hostage Crisis” (25 minutes), Irregular Warfare, Ironclad podcast, Summer 2022                

Interview, “Crack Cocaine,” (25 minutes) Drogerna with Jonatan Loxdal (Swedish podcast), Summer 2022

Interview, “The History of Economic Sanctions,” RTVI News (5 minutes), April 2022

Sole Guest, “Fraud in a Drug Lab/America’s War on Drugs” (42 minutes), American Scandals, Wondery, March 2022

Live Interview, “Trump and Presidential Misconduct,” RTVI News (5 minutes), February 2022

Live Interview, “The Democratic Party’s Troubles,” RTVI News (5 minutes) January 2022

Production Option (serial drama), The First Strange Place, Stephen Kronish—Three Putt Productions, August 2019-August 2022

The War on Drugs: Book and Website,” Points: Alcohol & Drugs History Society and the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, pointsadhs.com, December 2021

“War on Drugs” (teaching guide, timeline, primary sources), https://cmwss.com/the-war-on-drugs,  with Clark Terrill (content editor) and Marjorie Galleli (site designer), November 2021

Featured Interview, “John Raskob: Catholic Philanthropist” (podcast) The Petrus Development Show, scheduled release Fall 2021

“Teaching in the Age of the Pandemic,” Kansas Alumni magazine, Issue 4, 2021

“Teaching in the Age of the Pandemic,” 41 Action News—KSHB-TV (NBC), Kansas City, August 2021

“The War on Drugs Turns 50,” Washingtonpost.com (Made by History), reprinted in Newsday.com, PhillyTribune.com, PressDemocrat.com (Sonoma CA) and others, June 2021

“The Empire State Building Turns 90,” Washingtonpost.com (Made by History), May 2021

Consultant, “Len Bias and the Crack Panic,” episode 4 Death at the Wing podcast series created by Adam McKay for The Ringer (Spotify), Summer 2021

Live Interview, “Empire State Building Turns 90,” BBC World News (4 minutes), May 2021

Sole Interview, “John Raskob,” (podcast) CFO Bookshelf with Mark Gandy, May 2021

Featured interview, “The Iran Hostage Crisis” (40 minute podcast), DIA Connections (Defense Intelligence Agency), February 2021

Live Interview, “Biden Inauguration,” RTVI News (4 minutes), January 2021

Live Interview, “Impeachment,” RTVI News (8 minutes), January 2021

Selected Presentations

Co-organizer “The War on Drugs Turns 50,” Commonwealth Club, San Francisco (Webinar), June 2021 

“Black Power in the Sixties Era,” University of Tel Aviv (Zoom), March 2021 

“The New Left and the Radical Sixties,” University of Tel Aviv (Zoom), March 2021 

“Crack,” Hall Center for the Humanities (University of Kansas) and the Lawrence Public Library, Live Stream, September 2020 

“Crack,” History Festival, Cambridge University Press (webinar), August 2020 

“Crack,” Center for the Study of the United States, Tel Aviv University (Zoom), June 2020 

“The Anti-War Movement,” Zoom-X, Francis Parker School, May 2020 

“Crack,” History Seminar on Drug Wars, Washington and Jefferson College (Zoom), April 2020 

“Crack,” Movements and Directions in Capitalism and Governing America in a Global Era, University of Virginia, February 2020 

“After 1968,” 42nd Costa Lecture, Department of History, Ohio University, Athens, October 2019 

“Writing on Crack: Developing a Research Project,” Costa Graduate Student Seminar, Department of History, Ohio University, Athens, October 2019 

“’Without Feeding the Fire of War’: America Races to the Moon,” Keynote Address, "A Voyage Around the Moon - on the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Apollo 11 to the Moon," University of the Azores, Ponta Delgado, October 2019 

 “Woodstock Nation,” Back to the Garden: Photographs of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence, Kanas, August 2019 

“Woodstock Nation,” keynote lecture, 1969: When Woodstock changed the World, Hudson River Valley Institute and Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY, June 2019 

“Trump’s Republic: An American History,” Allan Martin Public Lecture, School of History, Australian National University, Canberra, May 2019 

“Crack and Capitalism,” Departmental Seminar—Allan Martin Lecturer, School of History, Australian National University, Canberra, May 2019 

“State of the Discipline,” History Graduate Students Workshop, Allan Martin Lecturer, School of History, Australian National University, May 2019 

“Crack and Capitalism,” Department of History Lecture Series, University of Missouri, Columbia, March 2019 

“The American Sixties,” International Scholars Program, School of Law, University of Tokyo, December 2018 

“1968 and the Crisis of Political Legitimacy,” 1968: 50 Years Later, Americanist Study Group, Keio University, Tokyo, December 2018 

“Radical Solidarity: Scope and Scale,” 1968: The Local and the Global, Africana Studies and Watson Institute, Brown University, Providence, November 2018 

“1968,” The Jolyon Pitt Girard Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence Keynote Lecture, Cabrini University, Radnor, Pennsylvania, November 2018 

“Chicago in 1968: The Local and the National,” The Global ’68 Symposium, Center for Catholic Intellectual Heritage, Loyola University, Chicago, October 2018 

“Chicago ’68 and the Media,” The Media and the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention—Then and Now, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Chicago, June 2018  

“America First and International Trade Policy in the Cold War Era,” America First Symposium, 2018 Stevenson Conference, Miller Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, April 2018 

“Chicago ‘68: Fifty Years Later,” Nightviews Speaker Series, Francis Parker School, Chicago, March 2018 

“The American Sixties: The History of the Future,” Morning Ex, Francis Parker School, Chicago, March 2018 

“Resistance, Activism and the Problem of Results: Thinking About 1968,” keynote address, Missouri Valley History Conference, Omaha, Nebraska, March 2018 

“The American Sixties” and “Modern American Conservatism and the Problem of Populism,” International Scholars Program, School of Law, University of Tokyo, December 2017 

“The Sixties: From Memory to History,” Making Sense of the Sixties, Renesan Institute and the New Mexico Historical Society, Santa Fe, New Mexico, November 2017 

“From Innocence to Experience: LSD, the Counterculture and Sustainable Lives,” Revisiting the Summer of Love, Rethinking the Counterculture, Northwestern University’s Center for Civic Engagement and the California Historical Society, San Francisco, July 2017 

“The Iran Hostage Crisis and Radical Islam,” The 1970s—Activism and Voices of Change, National Auto Museum, Reno, Nevada, April 2017 

“President Trump and Modern American Conservatism,” KU in Wichita, KU Alumni Association and Hall Center for the Humanities, Wichita, Kansas, March 2017 

"The ‘90s is When the '80s Gets Real,” Nineties Conference, Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana, March 2017 

“President Trump and Right-Wing Populism in America,” Looking Back At the Post-World War II Era from 2016, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, March 2017 

“Thinking Productively: Big Questions, Specific Topics, and Words on the Page,” Proseminar with Beth Bailey, ANZAC Postgraduate and Early Career Scholar Conference, United States Study Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, July 2016 

“Black Power: Working the Interstices of Radical Activism and Insider Politics,” Luncheon Keynote Address, Policy History Conference, Nashville, TN, June 2016 

“American Conservatism: Fear and Anger in the Making of the Modern Republican Party,” Insitut für Demokratieforschung, University of Gottingen, Gottingen, Germany, May 2016 

“Modern American Conservatism,” Distinguished Professor Inaugural Lecture, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, April 2016 

“The Uneasy State of American Conservatism,” keynote address, Third Annual Kaw Valley History Conference, Lawrence KS, April 2016 

Panelist, “The Role of the Southern University in Navigating a Tumultuous World,” SEC Workshop: Civility on Campus, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, February 2016 

“The Uneasy State of American Conservatism,” History of Medicine Lecture Series, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, October 2015 

“Chicago 68 and the Conspiracy Trial,” Summer Teachers Institute – Federal Trials and Great Debates, American Bar Association Division for Public Education and the Federal Judicial Center’s History Office, Washington, DC, June 2015 

“Modern American Conservatism,” Chongqing University, Chongqing, China, May 2015 

“Modern American Conservatism,” Institute of American Studies, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, Jilin, China, May 2015 

“Modern American Conservatism,” Institute of American Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China, May 2015 

“Modern American Conservatism,” Department of History, Peking University, Beijing, China, May 2015 

“Conservatism in the United States: A Historical Approach,” keynote address, Conference on American Conservatism, Atlantische Akadmie and the Political Science Division of the German Society for American Studies, Lambrecht, Germany, November 2014 

Awards & Honors

42nd Annual Costa Lecturer, Department of History, Ohio University, October 2019 

Alan Martin Lecturer, School of History, Australian National University, May 2019 

Elected Member, Society of American Historians, 2019 -  

Foreign Scholars Program, School of Law and Political Science, University of Tokyo, December 2018 

Jolyon Girard Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Cabrini University, Philadelphia, November 2018 

Foreign Scholars Program, School of Law and Political Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, December 2017 

Visiting Professor, Sciences Po Lyon, Lyon, France, November-December 2013 

Everybody Ought to Be Rich, The 2013 “Best of the Best” Business Book in the Category of Leadership, Strategy + Business Magazine Issue 73 (Winter 2013) 

Visiting Scholar, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research, American University of Beirut, December 2012   

The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism, 2010 Choice Outstanding Academic Title, American Library Association 

Visiting Scholar, School of Historical Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne, April 2010  

Taken Hostage, selected by the American Library Association as “The Best of the Best from University Presses,” 2005 

2004 General Library Faculty Acknowledgment Prize, College of Arts and Sciences, University of New Mexico 

Sloan Rules, 2003 Herbert Hoover Prize for the best book on any topic in American History: 1914-1964, Herbert Hoover Library Association 

Sloan Rules, 2003 Cugnot Award for the most outstanding book in the field of automotive history published in 2002, Society of Automotive Historians   

Columbia Guide to America in the 1960s selected by the American Library Association as “The Best of the Best from University Presses,” 2002 

Columbia Guide to America in the 1960s, 2001 Choice Outstanding Academic Book, American Library Association 

Organization of American Historians - Japanese Association for American Studies Short-term Residency in Recent American Political History, Keio University, Mita Campus, Tokyo, June 2002  

Fulbright Scholar Program, Senior Lecturer, Department of History and American Studies Program, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, January 1996 - June 1996  

American Council of Learned Societies, Senior Research Fellowship, September 1992 - June 1993 

Barnard College, Special Assistant Professor Leave, September 1992 - June 1993 

Chicago 68, 1988 Choice Outstanding Academic Book, American Library Association 

American Council of Learned Societies, Research Fellowship for Recent Recipients of the Ph.D., July - December 1988 

American Historical Association, Congressional Fellow, September 1985 - August 1986