Van E. Gosse

Professor of History, Franklin and Marshall College

About Van

Gosse's research focuses on African American politics, especially in 1790-1860, the United States in the Global Cold War, and the New Left of the "long Sixties." Overarching themes in Gosse's writing include the significance of race and ethnicity in U.S. history, how activist movements make change, and the connections of radicals across the Americas. Gosse is Co-Chair of Historians for Peace and Democracy, a longtime member of the Editorial Collective of the Radical History Review, and Chair of the F&M Votes campaign.

In the News

Opinion: "Why are All the Conservative Loudmouths Irish-American?," Van E. Gosse, Newsweek, October 24, 2017.
Opinion: "I am Class Conscious," Van E. Gosse, HuffPost, July 11, 2016.
Opinion: "Fight for Black Voting Rights Precedes Constitution," Van E. Gosse, Boston Globe, March 12, 2015.


"United States Textbooks and Puerto Rican History" Modern American History 2, no. 2 (July 2019): 179-182.

Analyzes critically how American history fails to incorporate Puerto Rico into the national narrative.

"Ronald Reagan in Ireland, 1984: A Different Cold War?" Journal of American Studies 47, no. 4 (December 2013): 1155-1174.

Explores how Ronald Reagan's visit to a small European country exposed deep opposition to his new Cold War in Central America.

""As a Nation, the English Are Our Friends": The Emergence of African American Politics in the British Atlantic World, 1772-1861" The American Historical Review 113, no. 4 (October 2008): 1003-1028.

Explores how African Americans used the British Empire to attack slavery before the Civil War.

"Rethinking the New Left: An Interpretative History" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2005).

Outlines a brief history bringing together all the radical movements of the 1960s.

"More Than Just a Politician: Notes Towards a Life and Times of Harold Cruse" in The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual Revisited: A Thirty-Year Retrospective, edited by Jerry G. Watts (Routledge, 2004), 17-40.

Contains the only substantial biographical study of this major figure in the Black Power movement.

"Where the Boys Are: Cuba, Cold War America and the Making of a New Left" (Verso, 1993).

Explores how engaging with Cuban revolutionaries in 1956-1962 helped birth a new radicalism in the United States.