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Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore is an award-winning historian of the American South at Yale University. She is the author of many publications, including "These United States: A Nation in the Making 1890 to Present" (2015), "Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920" (1996), and "Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950" (2008).


An eighth-generation North Carolinian, Gilmore received her B.A. in Psychology from Wake Forest University. She taught high school history in South Carolina for several years and held managerial positions in private industry before returning to school to graduate from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with an M.A., and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Ph.D. She studied at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University.[1]

She taught history at Queens University of Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina before joining the Yale University as an assistant professor in 1994, full professor of history in 1998, and Peter V. & C. Vann Woodward Professor of History in 2001.[2] She is also a member of the University's African American studies and American studies departments and currently serves as the Acting Chair of the African American Studies Department. Her areas of expertise include: race relations, women's and African-American history, the history of social reform, American religious activism, North Carolina history, the history of prostitution and the political, social and cultural history of the United States in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

In 2015 she published, with Thomas Sugrue, a synthetic reinterpretation of society and politics in twentieth century America.

She is married to noted Cambodian genocide scholar Ben Kiernan.



  • Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920. 1996
  • Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950 W. W. Norton & Company, January 2008. ISBN 978-0-393-33532-3[3][4][5][6]
  • "Am I a 'Screwball,' or am I a Pioneer?": Pauli's Murray's Civil Rights Movement in Walter Isaacson (ed.) Profiles in Leadership (W. W. Norton & Company, 2011)


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  3. ^ Garrow, David J. (January 4, 2008). "Early Warriors in the Fight for Racial Equality". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2014. Yet Ms. Gilmore is certainly correct when she concludes that her book's courageous radicals "may not have been able to take credit for that civil rights movement, but they knew in their hearts that they had helped pave the way for it."
  4. ^ Isserman, Maurice (February 10, 2008). "Pathfinders". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2014. That final point is crucial to Gilmore's argument. Unfortunately her belief that radical activists of the 1930s and 1940s "hastened" the end of Jim Crow in the postwar era is more asserted than demonstrated. And without such demonstration, Pauli Murray notwithstanding, "Defying Dixie" becomes an exercise in radical antiquarianism, a series of disparate essays built around interesting personalities, the whole rather less than the sum of its parts.
  5. ^ Boyd, Valerie (February 3, 2008). "Stalking Jim Crow". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 December 2014. Gilmore's ambitious enterprise, then, is to recover and recount the stories of those people -- Communists and radicals, activists and artists -- who defied Dixie segregationists long before TV news cameras began to roll in the 1950s, when most white Americans outside the South noticed the civil rights movement for the first time.
  6. ^ "Forgotten Revolutionaries". The Washington Post. January 13, 2008. Retrieved 24 December 2014. Fort-Whiteman's unlikely odyssey from Texas to Siberia is just one of the many extraordinary stories that punctuate the revisionist narrative of Defying Dixie.

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