Michael W. Flamm (Chair)

Professor of History


B.A., Harvard University
Ph.D., Columbia University


Michael Flamm is a scholar of modern American political history who joined the faculty in 1998. He offers a broad range of courses in U.S. history from 1877 to the present (see Courses Taught below). At Ohio Wesleyan he has received three teaching prizes including the university’s highest honor, the Bishop Herbert Welch Meritorious Teaching Award. As a Fulbright Scholar and Senior Specialist, Professor Flamm has taught numerous times in Argentina. In addition, he has served as a faculty consultant to the National Endowment for the Humanities, the College Board, and the National Academy of Sciences. He is also an elected member of the executive board of the Organization of American Historians, the largest professional association dedicated to the teaching and study of U.S. history.

Professor Flamm is the author or co-author of five books as well as numerous articles and reviews. For more information, see Major Publications and/or his curriculum vitae. He is also the creator of How 1954 Changed History (2020), an Audible original available on Amazon (see Recorded Work). For a sample, read The Conquest of Polio.

Professor Flamm is a proud Minnesotan and avid fan of the Twins, Vikings, and Timberwolves. After college he spent five years as a high school history teacher in New Jersey and New York. When Professor Flamm has the time, he enjoys tennis, skiing, travel, jazz, theater, and films of all kinds. He also likes to read contemporary, classic, and historical fiction as well as mystery novels. To learn more, visit Facebook and LinkedIn.

Major Publications

Courses Taught

History 114:  Introduction to Modern America
History 160:  America in the Sixties
History 250:  Historical Inquiry
History 286:  American Foreign Relations Since 1917
History 287:  America and Vietnam
History 376:  The Emergence of Modern America, 1877-1929
History 377:  The Transformation of Modern America, 1929-1960
History 378:  The Challenges of Modern America, 1960-2008
History 385A:  Crime and Punishment in Modern America
History 385B:  Women and Gender in Modern America
History 385C:  History and Fiction in Modern America

Areas of Interest / Expertise

The Political Culture of the 1960s
Crime and Disorder in the 1960s
The U.S. and Vietnam

Winner of the 2012 Bishop Herbert Welch Meritorious Teaching Award

Recorded Work

How 1954 Changed History

Every year has its share of notable events, but 1954 was exceptional. It began in January with a celebrity marriage heard round the world and then progressed through a series of major political, social, and cultural milestones that would echo through the next several decades.

In ten short lectures, you will return to a pivotal year as Professor Michael Flamm takes you through the battle against polio, the Red Scare that gripped the nation, the domestic impact of foreign conflicts, and the groundbreaking case of Brown v. Board of Education. As you look at these events and much more, you will see how 1954 showcases both some of the best and some of the worst times of 20th-century America.

Click here for more information.

Images of 1954

From the Army-McCarthy Hearings and Brown v. Board of Education to the emergence of Elvis Presley in Memphis and the defeat of French forces in Vietnam, 1954 was a truly pivotal year.

Recent Work

The New York Riots of 1964 and the War on Crime

This book is the first full-scale study of a pivotal week in July 1964, when peaceful protests and violent actions collided in Harlem and Brooklyn, law and order emerged in national politics, and the freedom struggle reached a crossroads. The following year the War on Crime was set in motion, with fateful implications for the prison and policing debates of today.

In Harlem, the symbolic and historic heart of black America, the racial unrest highlighted a new dynamic in national politics. The first "long, hot summer" of the Sixties had arrived, sending shock waves across the country and casting a shadow over the presidential contest between Republican Barry Goldwater and Democrat Lyndon Johnson.

Click here for more information.