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Daniel Horowitz

Mary Huggins Gamble Professor Emeritus and Professor Emeritus in American Studies


Daniel Horowitz is a historian whose work focuses on the history of consumer culture and social criticism in the U.S. At Smith College (1989–2012), he directed the American studies program for 18 years and was, for a time, Sylvia Dlugasch Bauman Professor of American Studies. Before coming to Smith, he taught at Scripps College in Claremont, California (1972–88), where he eventually was Nathaniel Wright Stephenson Professor of History and Biography. For 2010–11, he was the Ray A. Billington Visiting Professor of U.S. History at Occidental College and Huntington Library. He has also taught at the University of Michigan (1983–84), Carleton College (1980), Harvard (1964–66 and 1967–70), Skidmore College (1970–72), and Wellesley College (1966–67).

Among the honors Horowitz has received are two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and one from the National Humanities Center; an appointment as Honorary Visiting Fellow at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, Harvard University; and for 2008–09 he received a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 1997, the American Studies Association awarded him the Constance Rourke Prize for his 1996 article “Rethinking Betty Friedan and The Feminine Mystique: Labor Union Radicalism and Feminism in Cold War America,” American Quarterly. The American Studies Association awarded him its 2003 Mary C. Turpie Prize for “outstanding abilities and achievement in American Studies teaching, advising, and program development at the local or regional level.”

Among his publications are The Morality of Spending: Attitudes Toward the Consumer Society in America, 1875–1940 (1985), selected by Choice as one of the outstanding academic books of 1985; Vance Packard and American Social Criticism (1994); Betty Friedan and the Making of The Feminine Mystique: The American Left, The Cold War, Modern Feminism (1998); The Anxieties of Affluence: Critiques of American Consumer Culture, 1939–1979 (2004), selected by Choice as one of the outstanding books of 2004 and winner of the Eugene M. Kayden Prize for the best book published in the humanities in 2004 by a university press; Consuming Pleasures: Intellectuals and Popular Culture in the Postwar World (2012); On the Cusp: Yale College Class of 1960 and a World on the Verge of Change (2015); and Happier?: The History of A Cultural Movement That Aspired to Transform America (2018); and Entertaining Entrepreneurs: Reality TV's Shark Tank and the American Dream in Uncertain Times (2020).

He has edited two books for Bedford: Suburban Life in the 1950s: Selections from Vance Packard’s Status Seekers (1995) and Jimmy Carter and the Energy Crisis of the 1970: The “Crisis of Confidence” Speech of July 15, 1979.

He is currently working on a book about the relationship between the Great Recession and residential real estate in America. 

Horowitz lives with his wife, the historian Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They are the parents of two children: Ben, a computer scientist in the Bay Area; and Sarah, a professor of history at Washington and Lee University.