Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Deborah Cohen was educated at Harvard (BA) and Berkeley (Ph.D.).  She is Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Humanities and Professor of History at Northwestern University.  Her specialty is modern European history, with a focus on Britain.

Cohen’s research has been funded by the Mellon Foundation, the National Humanities Center, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, the American Council of Learned Societies (Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars) and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

She is the author of three books:  The War Come Home (University of California Press, 2001), Household Gods:  The British and their Possessions (Yale, 2006), and Family Secrets, published in 2013 by Viking Penguin in the UK, Canada, Australia, India, and New Zealand and by Oxford University Press in the US. 

Press Reviews

Review in the Evening Standard

Thursday, January 17, 2013
Evening Standard
Claire Harman

A "fact-packed and fascinating history of secret-keeping"

If there’s one thing we like to believe about the Victorians — or any generation before our own — it’s that they were more buttoned-up and hypocritical than we are. Unmarried mothers, illegitimate children, “confirmed bachelors” were all, surely, sources of shame to our benighted forebears? In a fact-packed and fascinating history of secret-keeping, Deborah Cohen turns this concept on its head.