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Ruth Rosen

Ruth Rosen

Professor Emerita, History
University of California, Davis
Expertise: Gender and Public Policy; Political Culture and Social Movements

Ruth Rosen is a pioneering historian of gender and society and an award-winning journalist.

She is Professor Emerita of History at the University of California at Davis, where she taught American history, women's history, history and public policy, and immigration studies for over two decades. The recipient of the University of California Distinguished Teaching Award and many national fellowships, including two from the Rockefeller Foundation, she has lectured all over the world and was a visiting professor at the European Peace University in Austria and Ireland and at the U.C. Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy.

She is the editor of the The Maimie Papers, a New York Times Notable Book in 1978; and the author of The Lost Sisterhood: Prostitution in America (1982); and The World Split Open: How The Modern Women's Movement Changed America (2001), a Book of the Month and Quality Paperback Selection; Los Angeles Times Best Books published in 2000; Finalist for Non-Fiction Award for Bay Area Reviewers Association

As a journalist, she wrote hundreds of op-ed columns for the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers between 1991-2000 and contributed many essays to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Dissent, the Women's Review of Books and the Los Angeles Times Book Review.

In 2000, she joined the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board and wrote both editorials and twice-a-week columns on the op-ed page. For her distinguished journalism, she received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the East Bay Press Club, the National Association for the Mentally Ill, the California Public Health Association, the National Federation of Women Legislators, and the Hearst Corporation.

Her editorials and columns focused on a broad range of subjects, including foreign policy, homelessness; the politics of health care, space-based weapons and the missile defense system; the politics of parole and prisons, reproductive rights, and environmental health. Until she left in 2004, she wrote extensively on the Bush administration's politicization of science, its violations of civil rights and liberties through the PATRIOT ACT, constraints on FOIA, and the Presidential Records Act, and the deceptions that led to the war in Iraq.

She is now a senior fellow writing and speaking about how we would change, reframe and rethink domestic and global public policy if women really mattered.

Accustomed to writing and speaking to the general public, she has appeared on NewsHour, NBC News, Fox News and hundreds of NPR and commercial radio programs.

LongviewInstitute.Org resources by Ruth Rosen:

Democracy in Action
In a piece published in Dissent, Ruth Rosen draws on her experience as a juror to tell us what democracy looks like.
The Care Crisis
Working mothers can't pamper their stress away, Ruth Rosen writes in the The Nation. Their balancing act needs a political fix.
And You're Worried About Oil?
In her review of Thirst: Fighting the Corporate Theft of Our Water for The San Francisco Chronicle. Ruth Rosen writes of Market Fundamentalism's growing influence over our water supply.
Wal-Mart vs. Contra Costa County
Merchant of Shame
Wal-Mart Wars
Women and Wal-Mart
Shopping for Voters
Big-Box Battle
A review of Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers’ Rights at Wal-Mart, by Liza Featherstone (Basic Books • 336 pages • $25.00)
Old Women in the Cold
Women Really on Their Own
The real story of this presidential election is the widening Marriage Gap — the difference between how married and unmarried women vote — and what the presidential candidates have or have not done to mobilize the 22 million women who simply didn't bother to vote in 2000.
Why Single Women Must Vote
The outcome of the 2004 presidential election rests in the hands of single women, argues senior fellow and noted historian Ruth Rosen. This column originally appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on February 16, 2004.
Get Hitched, Young Woman
Ruth Rosen responds to the latest efforts by conservative ideologues to change the subject in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Democracy Matters
Ruth Rosen addresses some of the costs of the war on terrorism.
Women's Vote Is an Elusive Force
What Women Really Want : How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class, and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live
Author: Celinda Lake & Kellyanne Conway with Catherine Whitney
Publisher: Free Press
Pages: 336 pp
Price: $26.00
Our Founding Mothers
Is Marriage Dead?
Behind "North County"
A discussion of the case of Lori Benson, who was the inspiration for the movie North County.
What Women Talk About When Men are not Listening
If you think its about sexual prowess, you’d be wrong. If you think it’s about size, forget it. And if you imagine we follow the various pissing contests going on among male liberals, you’re too self-absorbed. It’s about what I call the Care Crisis.
Ruth Rosen: Talking Taxes
In the first entry for her regular column on Talking Points Memo Cafe (, Ruth Rosen shows us our taxes at work.
Liberal Hawks and Genocide in Darfur
The Motherhood Manifesto
Political Earthquake
In an article for The American Prospect, Ruth Rosen traces the history of California's Proposition 89, the Clean Money and Fair Elections Act, and considers its chances in November.
The Child Care Crisis
South Dakota, Sexual Politics, and the American Elections
The abortion referendum in South Dakota is only one of the neglected issues affecting the daily lives of American women, minorities and working families, says Ruth Rosen in an article originally published at
America's Election: Daddy's Swagger vs. Mommy's Care
The mid-term political earthquake in the United States was a vote against a macho politics of fear, says Ruth Rosen in an article published on
Note to Nancy Pelosi: Challenge Market Fundamentalism
The World Split Open
Ruth Rosen chronicles the history of the American women's movement from its beginnings in the 1960s to the present.
The Lost Sisterhood
Gender and Public Policy
The Hidden Injuries of Sex
Ruth Rosen addresses the issue of sexual battery raised by Arnold's bad behavior.
Wasting Young Minds
Ruth Rosen explains the links between public education cutbacks and Bush Administration policies.
News Items
Ruth Rosen: Rising Women Float All Boats
In The San Francisco Chronicle, Ruth Rosen praises Ellen Bravo's Taking On the Big Boys: Why Feminism is Good for Families, Business, and the Nation. "Bravo's book," Rosen writes, "is such an enjoyable and accessible read it just might galvanize general readers to put the problems faced by working women on the national public agenda."
Ruth Rosen: Soft Crimes Against Democracy - What Ever Happened to Freedom of Information?
At, Ruth Rosen traces the Bush administration's many attempts to suppress information in the name of national security and reminds us how much we have already lost due to secrecy and deception.
Ruth Rosen on the Summer that Changed America
Ruth Rosen examines how country-wide upheavals in the summer of 1964 gave rise to the politics, society and culture of today. This article appears in AlterNet and the History News Network.
Ruth Rosen: The Hidden War on Iraqi Women
Horrible as the abuse and torture of Iraqi men has been, Ruth Rosen writes on, many Iraqi women have suffered both physical and sexual violence. Because of the military's guilt and the victims' shame, these crimes against women often go unreported.
Ruth Rosen: Feminist Rebel Reveals Past of Incest
At, Ruth Rosen writes: Bettina Aptheker's memoir shows how she broke free from her father, the most famous Marxist historian in the United States - and the man who molested her.
Ruth Rosen: What's fueled the U.S.-Iran war of words?
In the San Francisco Chronicle, Ruth Rosen praises Reese Erlich, author of The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis, as a "truth teller" who predicted the harsh consequences of war with Iraq before it began. His new book, Rosen writes, "can help readers understand why Iran and the United States may - or may not - soon be involved in yet another war."
News Items
Ruth Rosen in Journal of American History
The September issue of the Journal of American history, (published by the Organization of American Historians), has reprinted an interchange, titled Genres of History in which Rockridge's Ruth Rosen and five other historians discuss how they educate the public about the past through films, novels, and opinion essays. In addition, Dr. Rosen, who worked as an historical advisor on the Oakland Museum's current exhibit: What’s Going On?--California and the Vietnam Era , will speak at a panel titled The Sociological Roots and Legacies of Discontent and Change on Sunday, Oct. 17th at the Oakland Museum of California.
Toxic Terror
How one community fought for the human right to breathe clean air.

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