Liberty and Coercion: Writing the History of the American state

Gary Gerstle to give inaugural lecture as Mellon Professor of American History on Thursday 12 November

Sidney Fellow in History Gary Gerstle will give his inaugural lecture as Paul Mellon Professor of American History on Thursday 12 November.

Professor Gerstle will argue that the very deliberate compromises enshrined in the American Constitution in the eighteenth century, balancing the need for government while protecting cherished individual liberties, would in turn create problems as America embraced democracy in the nineteenth century. These problems, Gerstle suggests, persisted through the twentieth-century, and still burden the modern American state.

Gerstle’s lecture will draw on his new book, Liberty and Coercion: The paradox of American government from the founding to the present (Princeton University Press), and will situate his new work within the broader traditions of writing American history across the last fifty years.   Copies of Liberty and Coercion will be available at the reception following the inaugural.

Professor Gerstle’s lecture will take place at 5pm on Thursday 12 November in Cripps Auditorium, Magdalene College.

This is an archived news story first posted in November, 2015

  • Professor Gary Gerstle
  • Professor Gary Gerstle