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 Times Higher Education -- Book of the Week

Thursday, January 31, 2013
The Times Higher Education Supplement
June Purvis

"It will surely become essential reading for students on history, sociology and social policy courses, and will prove of interest to the general reader and policymaker, too.  At a time when family "breakdown" is a matter of public concern, this book casts an illuminating light on a complex issue"

The Relentless Rise of Coffee-Table Cults

Friday, March 16, 2007
The Times Higher Education Supplement
John Storey

Household Gods is engagingly written, well researched and beautifully illustrated.”
It is a commonplace to say we now live in an age of home makeover and do-it-yourself television programmes and at a time when more people go to DIY stores than go to church. Deborah Cohen's wonderful book begins by describing the effort by the Reverend Mark Rylands to reverse these trends. His strangely inappropriately titled "Get a Life" campaign aims to bring God back into our supposedly irreligious consumer culture.