law, history, politics

  • Current work

    I am writing a book on the history of American war and political accountability in an effort to understand how we have reached a point in U.S. history when our nation can go to war without the involvement and even the awareness of the American people.


    Related essays:


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    Making the Forever War: Marilyn Young on the Culture and Politics of American Militarism

    The late historian Marilyn B. Young, a preeminent voice on the history of U.S. military conflict, spent her career reassessing the nature of American global power, its influence on domestic culture and politics, and the consequences felt by those on the receiving end of U.S. military force. At the center of her inquiries was a seeming paradox: How can the United States stay continually at war, yet Americans pay so little attention to this militarism?


    Making the Forever War brings Young's articles and essays on American war together for the first time, including never before published works. Moving from the first years of the Cold War to Korea, Vietnam, and more recent “forever" wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Young reveals the ways in which war became ever-present, yet more covert and abstract, particularly as aerial bombings and faceless drone strikes have attained greater strategic value. For Young, U.S. empire persisted because of, not despite, the inattention of most Americans. The collection concludes with an afterword by prominent military historian Andrew Bacevich.


    “Marilyn Young remains the preeminent historian of war’s place in modern American history.”—Michael S. Sherry, author of The Shadow of War: The United States since the 1930s

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    War Time

    In this inventive meditation on war, time, and the law, Mary Dudziak argues that wartime is not as discrete a time period as we like to think. Instead, America has been engaged in some form of ongoing overseas armed conflict for over a century. Meanwhile policy makers and the American public continue to view wars as exceptional events that eventually give way to normal peace times.


    "Mary Dudziak's new book, War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences, is a crucial document. Her smooth foray into legal and political history reveals that in not just the past decade but the past century, wartime has become a more or less permanent feature of the American experience, though we fail to recognize it " --The Nation


    "A thoughtful and original take on the concept of war." --Foreign Affairs

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    Cold War Civil Rights

     "Meticulously researched and beautifully written, Mary Dudziak's book makes a spectacularly illuminating contribution to a subject traditionally neglected--the linkage between race relations and foreign policy: neither African-American history nor diplomatic history will be the same again."--Gerald Horne, author of Race Woman: The Lives of Shirley Graham Du Bois


    "This book is a tour de force."
    --Elaine Tyler May, author of Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era


    "Groundbreaking."--American Lawyer

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    Exporting American Dreams

    "In this gem of a book, Mary Dudziak brings vividly to life the important but little known history of Thurgood Marshall's intense involvement with Kenya during its journey toward independence in the 1960s. This great champion of the American civil rights struggle never relinquished his hope that democracy and equality would one day flourish in Kenya, even as he became painfully aware of the obstacles that stood in the path of this dream. A powerful and poignant story, beautifully told."--Gary Gerstle, Vanderbilt University and author of American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century



    “Insightful and important.”

    – Henry Richardson, Law and History Review


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    Edited collections

    September 11 in History: A Watershed Moment?

    • “I am exhilarated by the collective wisdom, creativity, and insight of this unusual yet riveting distillation of perspectives on September 11.”—Bruce Lawrence, author of Shattering the Myth: Islam beyond Violence

    Legal Borderlands: Law and the Construction of American Borders (co-edited with Leti Volpp)

    • "By weaving together colorful and contentious strands of culture, history and law, these essays make a compelling argument that "it is in its bleeding borders that law itself, and with it American identity, is constructed, contested, and made meaningful." Harvard Law Review

  • Events

    Public Lectures and Programs

    Unrest at Home and U.S. Foreign Policy 

    The Legacy of the Korean War on U.S. Democracy, Economy, and Society (webinar)

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    The War Powers Pivot

    How Congress Lost its Power in Korea

    Gary R. Hess Lecture in Policy History

    228 Bowen-Thompson Student Union

    Bowling Green State University

    Monday, October 22, 2018

    4:00 pm


    The War Powers Pivot

    How Congress Lost its Power in Korea

    University of Nevada Las Vegas, Boyd School of Law
    Tuesday, February 12, 2019
    5:30pm to 7:00pm
    Book signing before lecture at 5:00 pm


  • Teaching

    I teach courses in law and history at Emory University to law, graduate and undergraduate students. My colloquium on War and Security in Law, Culture and Society is open to law and graduate students, and features guest speakers and new work by scholars at Emory and other universities. My current courses are:

    • Presidential Power and the Constitution
    • Colloquium on War and Security in Law, Culture and Society
    • Equality at Emory (research seminar)
    • Foreign Relations Law
    • Constitutional Law

    I also teach 20th Century U.S. Constitutional History, Civil Rights History, 14th Amendment Rights.

  • Lectures and talks

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    Presidential Lecture, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, CSPAN

    Lecture, Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance, Library of Congress

    The Martial Spirit:

    John Hope Franklin on Militarism and War

    John R. Wilson Lecture, Duke Law School

  • Contact or follow me

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    War Time Blog


  • Twitter @marydudziak