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

Book of the Year -- The Spectator

Saturday, November 23, 2013
Jane Ridley

"Deborah Cohen's Family Secrets (Viking) is a thoughtful critique of privacy and the family masking an academic monograph.  It blows apart our patronising attitude towards the Victorian family and argues that secrecy worked as a strategy for dealing with shame and misfortune just as well as today's much-vaunted culture of openness."