Andrew Wender Cohen

Professor, History

Andrew Cohen

Contact Information

305 Maxwell Hall
(315) 443-3320

Dr. Walter Montgomery and Marian Gruber Professor of History


Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1999


United States history, law, crime, and political economy



Contraband: Smuggling and the Birth of the American Century. W.W. Norton & Co., WW Norton & Co., 2015.
The Racketeer’s Progress: Chicago and the Struggle for the Modern American Economy, 1900-1940. Cambridge University Press, 2004.


“Smuggling, Globalization, and America’s Outward State, 1870-1909,” Journal of American History 97:2 (Sept. 2010): 371-398.
“There was a Crooked History,” LABOR: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas (2011).
“Unions, Modernity, and the Decline of American Economic Nationalism,” American Right and U.S. Labor: Politics, Ideology, and Imagination (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011).
“Symposium on Akhil Reed Amar’s The Constitution: A Biography (2005). Syracuse Law Review 59 (2008): 56-8.
"Labor and the Law." Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working Class History. Routledge, 2006.
“The Racketeer’s Progress: Crime, Commerce, and Law in Chicago, 1919-1929.” Journal of Urban History 29:5 (July 2003).
“Obstacles to History? Modernization and the Lower Middle Class in Chicago, 1900-1940.” The Middling Sorts: Explorations in the History of the American Middle Class, ed. Burton Bledstein and Robert Johnston. Routledge, 2001.
“Business Myths, Lawyerly Strategies, and Social Context: Ernst on Labor Law History.” Law and Social Inquiry 23:1 (1998).
American Legal History Research Guide: University of Chicago and Chicago Area Research Libraries and Archives. With Richard Ross et al. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1994.
“Teamsters,” “Material Service Corporation,” “Labor Law.” Entries in Encyclopedia of Chicago History (University of Chicago Press, 2005).
Review. Lindberg, To Serve and Collect (1998) in Law and and History Review 21:1 (Spring 2003): 241.
Review. Robertson, Capital, Labor, & State (2000) in Enterprise and Society 2:4 (2001): 850.

Publications—Current Events

“Capitol Crimes: Sex, Violence, And Congressional Scandals Through History.” Writ (, 7/18/2001.
“Why ‘Close Winners’ Seldom Stay Long in the White House.”, 12/5/2000.
“Increasing the Size of Congress Could Limit Campaign Spending.”, 6/30/2000.
They Love to Fly, and It Shows: An Analysis of Privately Funded Travel by Members of Congress, 1989-90. With Michael McCauley. Wash., D.C.: Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, 1991.
PACking the Deck: How Political Action Committees Give to Both Candidates. With Jason Hatch. Wash., D.C.: Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, 1991.  

Papers, Presentations, and Other Significant Work

Commenter, “Controversies in the History of Organized Employers and Anti-Unionism,” Organization of American History Annual Meeting, April 2010.
“The Perils of Inspection: Smuggling, Globalism, and the Right to Privacy,” American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting, November 2009.
“Unions, Modernity, and the Decline of American Economic Nationalism.” Am. Right and U.S. Labor Conference. University of California, Santa Barbara. January 2009.
Invited talk. “New Approaches to the History of the New Deal.” University of California, Davis. November 2008.
Invited commenter. Symposium on Akhil Reed Amar’s The Constitution: A Biography (2005). Syracuse Law School, March 2008.
 “Smuggling and Empire: International Trade and the American State, 1870-1917.” Paper. American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting. November 2006.
 “Smuggler's Nation: Gilded-age America Buys the World, 1870-1917.” Invited Talk. Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. March 2006.
“The Racketeer’s Progress.” Invited Talk. Kheel Center, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. September 2004.
“The Chicago Race Riots and Urban Legal Culture, 1911-1922.” Paper. American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting. November 2003.
Commentator. “Lessons for a Globalizing World? Historical Experiences of Europe and the United States in Market Integration.” Global Affairs Institute, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, January 2003.
“Labor Racketeering and the De-Politicization of Criminal Law.” Invited Talk. Law and the Disappearance of Class in 20th Century America. University of Pennsylvania Law School. November 2002.
“The Lessons of Sacco and Vanzetti for Today.” Panel. Syracuse Social Movements Initiative. Syracuse University. September 2002.
“The Racketeer’s Progress: Crime, Commerce, and Law in Chicago, 1919-1929.” Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting. April 2002.
Commentator. “Organized Labor and Organized Crime: Cleaning House in the Building Service Employees’ Union.” Gotham Center Conference on New York City History. October 2001.
“Racketeering, Criminal Law, and the New Deal Legal Order.” Invited Talk. Syracuse University Law School Faculty Speakers Series. November 2000.
“Rethinking the Modern Economy: The Building Trades, Violence, and the Law in Chicago, 1900-1920.” Invited Talk. Research Seminar. Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society. Hagley Museum and Library. May 2000.
Roundtable discussion of J. Anthony Lukas’s Big Trouble. North American Labor History Conference. October 1998.
“State, Civil Society, and Labor Union Development in Chicago, 1900-40.” Law and Society Association Annual Meeting. June 1998.
“The Power of Provincialism and the Validity of Local History.” Conference: Practicing Space, Time, And Place: The Next Social History. University of Chicago. April 1998.
“The Transformation of ‘Racketeering,’ 1927-35: Crime, Market Regulation, and the Rise of the New Deal Order.” Social Science History Association Annual Meeting. November 1995.
“‘Unlawful and felonious, wicked, fraudulent, and malicious’: Conspiracy Cases and the Regulation of Chicago’s Economy, 1900-35.” American Society for Law and History Annual Meeting. October 1995.
“History and the Western Civilization Sequence.” Panel Discussant. University of Chicago Core Retreat. June 1995.
“Crime Stories: The Underground Economy and the Social History of Crime in Cook County, Illinois, 1920-35.” Seminar Paper. 1992.
“Racial Segmentation in the Washington, D.C. Home Rule Movement.” Paper for the National Endowment for the Humanities. 1989.



Teaching Appointments

Associate Professor – Department of History – Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs – Syracuse University – 2005 to Present.
Assistant Professor – Department of History – Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs – Syracuse University – 1999 to 2005.
J. Willard Hurst Fellow – Institute for Legal Studies – U. of Wisconsin Law School – 1997 to 1999.
Researcher – Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, Washington, D.C. – 1991. 

Research Interests

Modern United States History
Law, Political Economy, and the State
Social History and Class Formation 

Research Grants and Awards

Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, 2010-11.
American Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 2005-6.
Fellowship, National Humanities Center, 2005-6 (Declined).
Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, 2005.
John M. Olin Faculty Fellowship, National Association of Scholars, 2002-3.
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, Newberry Library, 2002-3 (declined)
Appleby-Mosher Research Fellowship – Syracuse University – 2000, 2001.
J. Willard Hurst Fellowship for Legal History – Institute for Legal Studies– 1997-9.
Mellon Dissertation Fellowship – Andrew W. Mellon Foundation – 1996-7.
Guggenheim Dissertation Fellowship – Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation – 1996.
Littleton-Griswold Fellowship– American Historical Association – 1995.
University Fellowship – University of Chicago – 1991 to 1995.
Younger Scholars Fellowship – National Endowment for the Humanities – 1989.
Team of the Year (top U.S. partnership) – American Parliamentary Debate Assn. – 1989.
Quarterfinalist – World University Debate Championships – 1989.  

Selected Professional Activities

Editorial Board – Law and History Review – 2005-10 (five-year term).
Program Committee – American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting — 2006-7.
Search Committee – Modern Middle East— Syracuse History Department – 2006-7.
Executive Committee – Syracuse History Department—2004-5.
Search Committee – Modern South Asia—Syracuse History Department – 2004-5.
Graduate Committee – Syracuse History Department – 2003-4.
Maxwell 132 Course – Maxwell School, Syracuse University – 2003.
Roscoe Martin Fellowship Committee – Maxwell School, Syracuse University – 2001.
Freshman Forum Advisor – Syracuse College of Arts and Sciences – 2000, 2003.
Faculty Advisor – Phi Alpha Theta (Honor Society) – 1999-2000.