Molly Michelmore Associate Professor of History, Department Head

Molly Michelmore

Newcomb Hall 221
Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2006
  • B.A., Amherst College, summa cum laude –– Degree in History with Highest Honors


Fiscal Policy and Welfare State Formation (National and Cross-National Perspectives), American Political Development, Late 20th Century U.S. Political, Cultural and Social History


U.S. history, 20th century U.S. political, cultural and social history

Selected Publications

"Why the income tax is worth celebrating" Washington Post Opinions, February 17, 2013

Tax and Spend: The Welfare State, Tax Politics and the Limits of American Liberalism, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.

"'What Have You Done for Me Lately': The Welfare State, Tax Politics and the Search for a New Majority, 1968-1980" Journal of Policy History, Fall 2012.

"Tax-Day Tangle," University of Pennsylvania Press On-Line.

"Don't Just Blame the Republicans for the No-Tax Pledge -- Democrats are Allergic to Tax Hikes, Too," History News Network, 7-9-'12

Professor Michelmore has also published in the Christian Science Monitor, The Richmond Times Dispatch and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, and has often been an invited guest on public and talk radio.

Current Research

Professor Michelmore's research interests lie in 20th century American politics, and specifically in the relationship between fiscal policy, the politics of taxing and spending, and content of post-New Deal liberalism. She explored these concepts in her first book Tax and Spend: The Welfare State, Tax Politics and the Limits of American Liberalism.

Her current research project, As a Taxpayer and a Citizen: Rights, Obligations and Democracy in Modern America, builds on this work by examining how various groups, including women, African Americans, property owners, pacifists and anti-war activists, immigrants and anti-immigration activists, the poor, and gay men and women have used their political and legal identities as taxpayers to effect policy changes and to expand (or defend existing) boundaries of citizenship.