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Kimberly Phillips-Fein

Acting Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs & Associate Professor
(212) 998-7317
1 Wash Pl, Room 409

Office Hours
Monday By Appt
Tuesday 2-3:30
Wednesday By Appt
Thursday 2-4
Friday By Appt

B.A. History, University of Chicago, 1997
Ph.D. American History, Columbia University, 2005

Kimberly Phillips-Fein is a historian of twentieth-century American politics. She teaches courses in American political, business, and labor history. Her first book, Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan, was published by WW Norton in 2009. She has contributed to essay collections published by Harvard University Press, University of Pennsylvania Press, and Routledge and to journals such as Reviews in American History and International Labor and Working-Class History. She is a contributing editor to Labor: Studies in Working-Class History in the Americas, where her work has also appeared. Phillips-Fein has written widely for publications including The Nation, London Review of Books, New Labor Forum, to which she has contributed articles and reviews. Her 2017 book, Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics (Metropolitan Books), was a finalist for a 2018 Pulitzer Prize in History.

Awards & Honors


Fear City Named as 2018 Pulitzer Prize Finalist

Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics (Metropolitan Books, 2017) by Kim Phillips-Fein was named as a 2018 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History.

Teaching and Research Interests

history of economic thought; American economic and political history; business and labor history

Recent News

Professor Kimberly Phillips-Fein's book Fear City: The New York City Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of the Age of Austerity was a finalist for a 2018 Pulitzer Prize in History, among many others honors.

Phillips-Fein's "How Employers Broke Unions by Creating a Culture of Fear" appeared in The Washington Post.

Phillips-Fein was awarded a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars, Artists and Writers at the New York Public Library for 2014-2015 for work on Fear City: The New York City Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of the Age of Austerity. Also for work on Fear City, she received a Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She was appointed to a three-year term as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, beginning in 2014.

Her essay “Why Workers Won’t Unite” was published in the March 16, 2015 issue of The Atlantic. Professor Phillips-Fein organized, chaired, and participated in a workshop at the American Historical Association on "Crises of the 1970s" in January 2015 in New York, New York. She gave a talk, "The Spectacle of Failure: The New York City Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of the Age of Austerity," at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York, New York, on March 11, 2015. Professor Phillips-Fein led a seminar for high school teachers at the New York Public Library's The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers "Drop Dead: The New York City Fiscal Crisis" on March 13, 2015.

Kimberly Phillips-Fein