Michael Willrich F'15, F'04

Michael  Willrich
Leff Families Professor of History
History
Brandeis University

ACLS Fellowship Program 2015
Professor
History
Brandeis University
The Anarchist's Advocate: War, Terror, and the Origins of America's Surveillance State

“The Anarchist’s Advocate” is a history of radical dissent, police power, and the struggle for civil liberties in the United States during the early twentieth century, with particular attention to World War I and the ensuing Red Scare. The narrative centers on New York anarchists, their confrontations with the new surveillance state, and their relationship with the lawyer Harry Weinberger, who represented them in criminal trials, Ellis Island deportation proceedings, and before the Supreme Court. When the United States entered WWI, virtually no one in the US—least of all, the anarchists themselves—actually believed that the US constitution offered the slimmest protection for alien radicals and their political ideas. “The Anarchist's Advocate” tells the story of how and why that began to change.

Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships 2004
Assistant Professor
History
Brandeis University
Speaking Law to Power: Struggles for Civil Liberties in Progressive Era America (1890 to 1920)

This book-length project examines a major problem in American social, cultural, legal, and political history. The project provides the first historical account of the pervasive legal resistance that attended the creation of the modern administrative-welfare state in America during the Progressive Era (1890-1920). By recovering this largely forgotten phase of civil liberties struggles, the project advances a new argument about modern liberalism and the state that will have significant implications for the fields of history, law, American political development, and social and political theory.