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 Guardian

Saturday, January 12, 2013
The Guardian
Kathryn Hughes

A “book of marvels”

The biggest thing that Deborah Cohen achieves in this book of marvels is to dislodge, once and for all, the whiskery idea that the Victorians were a generation of secret keepers. The image of all those attics stuffed with mad wives, strange sons and idiot siblings waiting for modernity to shine its cleansing light on festering family shame will no longer do.