About

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 Sunday Telegraph -- Book of the Week

Sunday, January 27, 2013
Sunday Telegraph
Judith Flanders

“Cohen is a formidable researcher, and she narrates the stories she has uncovered with infectious delight.  A find.”

As former News of the World journalist Paul McMullan put it so memorably at the Leveson Inquiry, “Privacy is for paedos”. In part, this was no more than a tabloid journalist using words carelessly. If he had said secrecy, not privacy, was for “paedos”, the response would surely have been more muted, for post- Freud, secrecy is viewed as something entirely negative, whereas privacy is a right, enshrined in law.