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Dr Adam Smith

Senior Lecturer


Adam Smith writes about the United States in the mid-nineteenth century. His most recent book is a short biography of Abraham Lincoln. He is currently completing a book called The Stormy Present: Conservatism and American Politics in an Age of Revolution, 1848-1877

His previous work includes: No Party Now: Politics in the Civil War North (Oxford University Press, 2006), a book about the tensions created by the continuation of party politics in wartime. His The American Civil War (Palgrave, 2007) is an overview of the war which emphasises the importance of home front public opinion in determining the outcome.

Adam also has historical interests in the history of theatre, especially as it relates to politics and in the image of the United States abroad. He contributed to the department's AHRC-funded Images of America project and has written about the image of Abraham Lincoln in Britain.  

Adam has presented documentaries for BBC Radio on the American Civil War, and, most recently, on primary school history teaching. His essays and book reviews have appeared in History Today, BBC History, The Times Literary Supplement as well as in academic journals. 

Adam is currently serving as the Honorary Secretary of the Royal Historical Society.

Adam joined the department in 2002. Before coming to UCL, he was a Junior Research Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, a Visiting Fellow at Harvard and a lecturer in American history at Queen Mary, University of London. In 2009, Adam was a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania.


Qualifications & memberships of professional bodies

1999 PhD  University of Cambridge 
1995 MA  University of Sheffield 
1994 BA  University of Oxford 
Fellow of the Royal Historical Society  

Major Publications


Media Experience 

BBC History Magazine  Dec 14  'The vote that saved America'
BBC Radio 4  15 Apr 14 'How do children learn history?'
BBC Radio 3  19 Nov 13  Night Waves (The Gettysburg Address) 
BBC Radio 3  21 Jan 13  Night Waves (Abraham Lincoln) 
BBC History Magazine  Dec 12  'Race, Religion and Re-election'
BBC Radio 5 Live  06 Nov 12 Discussion of the U.S. elections
BBC Radio 4  06 Nov 12 Today programme (interviewed about the U.S. elections)
BBC Radio 3  05 Apr 12 Night Waves (the 'performance of the self' in American politics)
History Today 06 Mar 12 A review of two books - The Great Interwar Crisis; America, Hitler and the UN
BBC Radio 3 10 Apr 11 'The War of the South'

IRIS Researcher Profile 

Dr Adam Smith