Professor, Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences
From 2011 to 2017, Ken served as Director of the McBride Honors Program and he co-founded the J. Don Thorson First Year Honors Experience. In 2015-16, he was president of the Academic Faculty at Mines.
Ken’s research interests include the history of propaganda and intelligence, the history of media, advertising, and public relations, and U.S. political and diplomatic history. His work has been translated into German, Chinese, and Japanese.
Before coming to Mines, Ken taught for ten years at Florida Atlantic University, where he directed the Alan B. Larkin Symposium on the American Presidency. Ken also has been the Stanley Kaplan Professor of American Foreign Policy (Williams College) and the Mary Ball Washington Professor of American History (University College Dublin), as well as a research fellow at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies (Ohio State) and the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (UCSD). He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.
Ken also served as associate editor of the journal Diplomatic History, a series editor of Palgrave’s History of the Media series. In addition to his academic work, Ken has published articles in the New York Times and the Chronicle of Higher Education; he has been interviewed by many media outlets and podcasts; he has lectured on the cable television channel C-SPAN; and he appeared in documentary films from Canada, the UK, Japan, and United States, including the award-winning Love, Hate, and Propaganda (Canadian Broadcasting Company).
Like many other California natives, Ken fulfilled his lifelong dream of living in Colorado when he moved to Golden in 2011.
- Total Cold War: Eisenhower’s Secret Propaganda Battle at Home and Abroad (2006), winner of the Herbert Hoover Book Award for best book on any aspect of U.S. history during the early 20th century.
- The Cold War after Stalin’s Death: A Missed Opportunity for Peace? (edited with Klaus Larres, 2006)
- The United States and Public Diplomacy: New Directions in Cultural and International History (edited with Brian C. Etheridge, 2010)
- Selling War in a Media Age: The Presidency and Public Opinion in the American Century (edited with Andrew K. Frank, 2010).
- Winning While Losing?: Civil Rights, the Conservative Movement, and the Presidency from Nixon to Obama (edited with Derrick E. White, 2014).