Charles Postel

(On-Leave 2020/2021)
Phone: (415) 405-0399
Location: Humanities Building Room 349

My teaching and research focus on social movements and politics in the United States. I am especially interested in the political ideas that have inspired radical protest and reform, as well as conservative activism.

I teach courses on the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction, on the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and the New Deal. I also teach about the conservative movement, and recent U.S. history.

My new book, Equality: An American Dilemma, 1866-1896 (2019), is about the powerful social movements unleashed by the Civil War and their often clashing claims to racial, sexual, and economic equality. My previous book, The Populist Vision (2007), is a history of the Populist movement of the 1890s, the most forceful revolt against corporate power in U.S. history.



  • Ph.D. UC-Berkeley, 2002
  • B.A. UC-Berkeley, 1995
  • Laney College, 1992

Research Interests

  • Politics and Social Movements
  • Populism
  • Reconstruction
  • African American Experience
  • Racial, Gender, & Class Equality
  • Conservatism

Selected Awards

  • Society of American Historians, elected 2018
  • Stanford Humanities Center Fellow, 2016-2017
  • Fulbright-Dow Distinguished Research Chair, Roosevelt Study Center, Netherlands, fall 2012
  • Ghaemian Scholar-in-Residence, Center for American Studies, University of Heidelberg, 2011-12
  • Bancroft Prize, Trustees of Columbia University, 2008
  • Frederick Jackson Turner Award, Organization of American Historians, 20008
  • Roland Marchand Award for Service to K-12 Education, History Project, UC-Davis, 2007

Selected Publications



Book Chapters:



Courses Recently Taught


  • 121: The U.S. 1877-present
  • 300: Historical Analysis (GWAR)
  • 424: Civil War and Reconstruction
  • 426: Gilded Age and Progressive Era
  • 427: U.S. in Depression and War
  • 428: U.S. History since 1945
  • 481: U.S. Thought & Culture
  • 696: The Conservative Movement


  • 705 Approaches to Political History
  • 790: Readings in Reconstruction, Gilded Age & Progressive Era History
  • 790: Readings in 20th Century U.S. History
  • 790: Researching the Politics of Protest