Jennifer Luff

Jennifer Luff

Jennifer Luff is a historian of politics and labour in the US and the UK, with special interests in the history of working-class conservatism; transnational working-class politics; civil liberties and state repression; machine politics; and political organising.

Her 2012 book Commonsense Anticommunism explored American labour anticommunism, civil liberties, and working-class conservatism in the interwar period. She has also published on workplace theft and the history of American detectives.

Her current research examines British anticommunism and the “secret state” before the Cold War. She has held research fellowships at New York University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the Newberry Library.

At Durham, she teaches on the history of American capitalism, Progressivism, and the Introduction to Modern History for MA students.

At Georgetown University, Jennifer led a digital history project that engaged undergraduate students and local activists in documenting the history of janitors in Washington, DC. She is especially interested to pursue public digital history projects in the UK.


Books authored

  • 2012 Commonsense Anticommunism: Labor and Civil Liberties between the World Wars, University of North Carolina Press, 288 pp.

Essays in edited volumes

  • 2013 ‘New Men of Power: Jack Tenney, Ronald Reagan, and Postwar Labor Anticommunism‘, in Pieper Mooney, Jadwiga E. & Lanza, Fabio (eds.), De-Centering Cold War History: Local and Global Change, Routledge, pp. 99-122

Journal papers: academic

  • 2013 ‘‘Rethinking Interwar Conservatism, Communism, and Repression’, and ‘Response’‘, Journal of the Historical Society 13, pp. 101-114 and 157-162

  • 2013 ‘Featherbedding, fabricating and the failure of authority on ‘The Wire’‘, Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 10, pp. 21-27

  • 2011 ‘Historical Contributors versus Structural Tendencies’, Labor: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas 8, pp. 77-82

  • 2008 ‘Surrogate Supervisors: Railway Spotters and the Origins of Workplace Surveillance‘, Labor: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas 5, pp. 47-74

  • 2003 (co-authored with Luebke,Sam) ‘Organizing: a secret history’, Labor History 44, pp. 421-32