Richard Anderson studies twentieth-century American political, urban, and labor history. His dissertation, “The City That Worked: Machine Politics and Urban Liberalism in Chicago, 1945-1966,” examines how the political machine led by Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley deftly balanced competing strains of postwar liberalism by fashioning a robust public-private governing regime that cross lines of party, class, and race. At one level, the project demonstrates how an unstable but potent coalition of white and black workers sustained New Deal policies and alliances after World War II in the face of internal conflicts and external Republican challenges. At another level, though, Richard’s dissertation shows that the conceptual boundaries between liberalism and conservatism became blurred at the local level, as municipal officials like Daley operated in ways that defied easy dichotomies.
Richard has presented his research before the Labor and Working-Class History Association, Urban History Association, Society of American City and Regional Planning History, the Organization of American Historians, the National Council on Public History, and the Newberry Library’s Urban History Seminar. He sits on the National Council on Public History’s Committee on Advocacy and co-edits the NCPH blog, History@Work. Richard is currently a member of the Advisory Committee of the Princeton Public Library Humanities Council. Alongside staff from the Historical Society of Princeton and the Princeton Public Library, he co-directs “Voices of Princeton,” an ongoing community oral history project. From 2011-2014, he founded and coordinated the Public History Initiative, a working group within the Princeton History Department. In 2014 Richard served as a research resident at the National Public Housing Museum in Chicago. He is also a contributor and chapter editor for American Yawp, an online, open-source college textbook. Richard received a B.A. in history from Northeastern Illinois University, an M.S. in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an M.A. in history (with a graduate certificate in Public History) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.