Thomas Whalen

Associate Professor, Social Sciences

Teaching Interests

19th and 20th century American social and political history, the Cold War, and modern foreign policy

Research Interests

Modern American politics, presidential leadership, Boston history, and sport and American society

Selected Publications


Spirit of ’67: The Cardiac Kids, El Birdos, and the World Series That Captivated AmericaRowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2017

JFK and His Enemies: A Portrait of Power, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, Maryland, 2014.

When the Red Sox Ruled: Baseball’s First Dynasty, 1912-1918, Ivan R. Dee, Publisher, Chicago, IL, 2011.

A Higher Purpose: Profiles in Presidential Courage, Ivan R. Dee, Publisher, Chicago, IL, 2007.

Dynasty’s End: Bill Russell and the 1968-69 World Champion Boston Celtics, Northeastern University Press, Boston, MA, 2003.

Kennedy Versus Lodge: The 1952 Massachusetts Senate Race, Northeastern University Press, Boston, MA, 2000.


Regular contributions to Cognoscenti, the opinions section of Boston’s NPR News Station, on topics including politics, sports, and history. More can be found here.

“Is the Obama presidency over?” The Conversation, November 20, 2014.

“Newt Gingrich:  A Leader more like Woodrow Wilson than Teddy Roosevelt.” Washington Post, December 12, 2011.

“The Tea Partyers Are Arrogant Elitists.” Opinion Page, US News & World Report, October 2, 2010.

“Political Dynasties are Undemocratic.” Editorial Page, Boston Globe, September 6, 2009.

Other Professional Activity and/or Awards

Expert commentary for a large number of national and international media outlets, including the New York Times, Politico, The Economist, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CNN, CNN International, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, the Boston Herald, Reuters TV, C-Span 3, ESPN 2, Voice of America, BBC Radio, the Chicago Tribune, the Associate Press, NBATV, and USA Today. For Tom’s most recent TV and commentary appearances, click here. Tom also received mention on Late Night with Seth Meyersrecently as part of the Boston Olympics discussion.

“JFK and His Enemies: A Profile in Power,” lecture presentation for the Massachusetts Historical Society, November 2013 (

“History of Political Conventions,” video presentation for C-SPAN, August 2012 (

“A Man of His Times: Bull Russell and the 1960s,” lecture presentation for WBUR’s World of Ideas, December 2011 (

“The Presidency and Cold War Policy,” 1953-1963, lecture presentation for American History TV, C-Span 3, November 2011 (

“When the Red Sox Ruled: Baseball’s First Dynasty, 1912-1918,” presentation at the Massachusetts Historical Society, September 28, 2011 (

Peyton Richter Award for interdisciplinary teaching, Boston University, 2010.