Dr. Timothy Shenk

Timothy Shenk
[email protected]

Timothy Shenk is a historian of the modern United States, with a particular focus on the intersections of political and intellectual history. His first book, a biography of the Cambridge economist and communist Maurice Dobb, was published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2013. He is currently working on two books. The first, based on his dissertation and under contract with Princeton University Press, examines the emergence of the idea of “the economy” in the United States during the twentieth century. The second explores the intellectual history of the American political elite from the writing of the Constitution down to the presidency of Donald Trump. Tentatively titled Democracy’s Revenge: The People, The Powerful, and the American Political Tradition, it is under contract with Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.

Before coming to GW, Professor Shenk was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis and a National Fellow at New America. His work has also been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Jacob K. Javits fellowship program, among others. His writings have appeared in a number of outlets, including the New York Times, the Nation, the New Republic, the Guardian, the London Review of Books, Jacobin, and Dissent, where he is also co-editor.


Ph.D., Columbia University, 2016


Maurice Dobb: Political Economist 

“Inventing the American Economy,” in Romain Huret, Nelson Lichtenstein, and Jean-Christian Vinel, eds., The Political Economy of the New Deal Order (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming in 2020).

“‘I Am No Longer Responsible for Its Actions’: E.P. Thompson After Moral Economy,” Humanity (forthcoming in 2020).

“Les savoirs de l’économie / Economic knowledge,” with Timothy Mitchell, in Christophe Bonneuil and Dominique Pestre, eds., Histoire des sciences et des savoirs / History of Science and Knowledge (Paris: Seuil, 2015).

Essays and Reviews

  • “Elizabeth Warren Was the Wrong Kind of Radical,” New York Times, March 5, 2020.
  • “Two Paths for Millennial Politics,” Dissent, Summer 2019.
  • “The Political Odyssey of Sean Wilentz,” The Nation, June 3, 2019.
  • “Already Great,” Dissent, Spring 2019.
  • “Right Privilege,” Dissent, Winter 2019.
  • “Crisisology,” The New Republic, September 2018.
  •  “Left to Their Own Devices,” Times Literary Supplement, February 9, 2019.
  • “Wonk Republic,” The New Republic, December 2017.
  • “Find the Method,” The London Review of Books, June 29, 2017.
  • “Dead Center,” The New Republic, January/February, 2017.
  • “The Secret History of Trumpism,” The Guardian, August 16, 2016.
  •  “The Only Game in Town?,” The Nation, March 7, 2016.
  •  “Apostles of Growth,” The Nation, November 24, 2014.
  • “What Was Socialism?,” The Nation, May 5, 2014. 
  • “The Long Shadow of Mont Pèlerin,” Dissent, Autumn 2013.
  • “A Marxist in Keynes’ Court,” Jacobin, Autumn 2013. (Adapted excerpt from Maurice Dobb: Political Economist.)
  • “Love in the Time of Capital,” Dissent, Summer 2012.