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Colin Gordon

Professor of History, University of Iowa

About Colin

Gordon is a historian of American public policy, with particular expertise in labor, health and urban policies.  He has worked extensively with planning and historical organizations in St. Louis on the roots – and implications – of racial segregation. He is also a senior research consultant with the Iowa Policy Project, a state-level affiliate of the Economic Analysis Research Network and the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative.

In the News

Quoted by Hanna Holthauys in "Kirkwood and Meacham Park Residents Still Feel Separate 10 Years after Shooting," Webster Journal, March 21, 2018.
Regular contributions by Colin Gordon to Dissent.
Guest on NPR's All Things Considered, August 26, 2014.
Quoted by Seth Freed Wessler in "Why Did Ferguson Erupt? The Answer Depends on Your Race," NBC News, August 23, 2014.
Quoted by Tracey Meares in "Ferguson’s Schools are Just as Troubling as Its Police Force," New Republic, August 22, 2014.
Quoted by in "Editorial: Lessons from Ferguson: We Earned This," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 22, 2014.
Quoted by Patrik Jonsson in "Ferguson: How the Balkanization of Greater St. Louis Fueled the Strife," Christian Science Monitor, August 21, 2014.
Quoted by Jeannette Cooperman in "St. Louis: A City Divided," Al Jazeera America, August 18, 2014.
Quoted by Tim Logan & Molly Hennessy-Fiske in "Ferguson’s Mounting Racial and Economic Stress Set Stage for Turmoil," Los Angeles Times, August 16, 2014.
Quoted by Martin Gelin in "Confidence in the Police Force has Collapsed," Dagens Nyheter, August 15, 2014.
Research discussed by Pamela Engel, in "The Maps of St. Louis Segregation are Depressing," Business Insider, August 15, 2014.
Quoted by Peter Coy in "The Country Map that Explains Ferguson’s Tragic Discord," Bloomberg Businessweek, August 15, 2014.
Interviewed in "Ferguson Protests: How Did We Get Here?," Bloomberg, August 15, 2014.
Quoted by Bryce Covert in "The Racist Housing Policies that Helped Fuel the Anger in Ferguson," Think Progress, August 14, 2014.
Quoted by David Dante Troutt in "Less than Human: Do Some Police Take a Step beyond Simple Prejudice?," Reuters, August 14, 2014.
Quoted by in "The Death of Michael Brown," New York Times, August 12, 2014.
Quoted by David Von Drehle in "The Long, Tangled Roots of the Michael Brown Shooting," Time, August 12, 2014.


"Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health in 20th Century America " (Princeton University Press, 2003).

Presents a historical account of the failure of American health policy.

"Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality," Institute for Policy Studies, 2013.

Presents a web-based account, leaning on interactive data visualizations, of the emergence of inequality in modern America.

"New Deals: Business, Labor and Politics in America" (Cambridge University Press, 1994).

Presents a reinterpretation of the American response to the Great Depression, focusing on the recasting of business-government relations in the 1920s and 1930s. 

"Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008).

Traces the roots of racial segregation and urban decline, from the early 20th century to the present, in Greater St. Louis.