I specialise in U.S. history, especially the way American state and private actors have been involved in foreign affairs during the twentieth century. I am interested in the international and transnational forces that have shaped the U.S. in the world, particularly in relation to Europe and during the cold war. My work examines the projection of and resistance to American political, cultural, and covert “power.”
My current project explores the long, hidden history of national security whistleblowing. It is supported by an AHRC Research Grant, and further details can be found on the project website. My first book, The United States, Italy, and the Origins of Cold War: Waging Political Warfare was published by Cambridge University Press. I have also edited a collection re-examining the relationship between U.S. foreign relations, intelligence, and international history (Intelligence and National Security), while my articles have appeared in journals including Diplomatic History, Cold War History, Modern Italy, and Ricerche di Storia Politica.
I am happy to supervise research students working on the U.S. and the world; the international and transnational cold war; foreign relations and diplomatic history; intelligence and cultures of secrecy; and modern Italy.
I joined UEA in 2011, after positions at the University of Warwick and University College Dublin. I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Birmingham and studied at the University of California, Los Angeles and University of Padua, Italy. I am an Associate of the LSE IDEAS Cold War Studies Programme and have held visiting positions at New York University, University of Bologna, and University of Oxford.
in America in the World, 1776 to the Present : A Supplement to the Dictionary of American History.
Charles Scribner's Sons
(Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary)
The United States, Italy and the Origins of Cold War: Waging Political Warfare 1945–1950,
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
ISBN 9781107035089UEA Repository
in The Oxford Encyclopaedia of American Military and Diplomatic History.
Oxford University Press
(Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary)
Narrating Covert Action: The CIA, Historiography and the Cold War,
in Intelligence Studies in Britain and the US: Historiography since 1945.
Edinburgh University Press
Approaches to Understanding the Inaugural CIA Covert Operation: Exploding Useful Myths,
in Intelligence and National Security
pp. 246-268UEA Repository
The CIA and US Foreign Policy since 1947: Reforms, Reflections and Reappraisals,
in Intelligence and National Security (Special Issue)
pp. 133-398UEA Repository
Re-Thinking American Intervention in the 1948 Italian Election: Beyond a Success-Failure Dichotomy,
in Modern Italy
pp. 179-194UEA Repository
Illusions of Coherence: George F Kennan, US Strategy and Political Warfare in the Early Cold War, 1946-1950,
in Diplomatic History
pp. 39-66UEA Repository
La Dinamiche delle relazioni italo-statunitensi nel dopoguerra, l'interventismo americano e il ruolo di James C Dunn,
in Ricerche di Storia Politica
pp. 197-222UEA Repository
The Case for Political Warfare: Strategy, Organization & US Involvement in the 1948 Italian Election,
in Cold War History
pp. 301-329UEA Repository
Key Research Interests
My current project examines the long history of national security whistleblowing. It historicises terms and concepts that are familiar (i.e. whistleblowing, national security) but the political, cultural, and legal origins of which are barely known. By exploring the evolution of whistleblowing, the research considers its broader impact on political and dissent culture. The project assesses the role of whistleblowing in transnational movements that challenge state power as well as the response of governments to curb and criminalise the act itself. The research is supported by an AHRC Research Grant, on which I am the principal investigator, and further details can be found on the project website.
My first book explored the origins of “cold” war through the multi-faceted nature of U.S.-Italian relations post-World War II and American attempts to wage “war short of war.” It explored an alliance between elites in Rome and Washington alongside an increasingly prominent international network of business, labour, and religious protagonists. Analysing the U.S. fight against the Italian left, it revealed how political warfare appeared to outline a way to defeat communism around the world. The United States, Italy, and the Origins of Cold War: Waging Political Warfare was published by Cambridge University Press (hb 2014, pb 2016). To hear more about the book, here are some interviews with fifteen eighty-four and New Books Network.
Another project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, examined public debates surrounding American interventionism and covert action since 1945. Analysing the multiple – and frequently conflicting – narratives of politicians, spies, journalists, scholars, and activists, it considered the intellectual and cultural struggle to shape understanding of U.S foreign relations and the CIA. I edited a double-special issue of Intelligence and National Security that examined such themes in historic and contemporary contexts.
I teach courses on twentieth century American history, U.S. in the World, the cold war, intelligence, and protest and dissent.