Melissa J. Wilde, PhD is a sociologist of religion whose research focuses on how religion intersects with key social structures, especially, race, class and gender. Her first book, Vatican II, examined votes from the Vatican Secret Archive that no researcher had ever seen before to explain the outcome of the Council. Her second book, Birth of the Culture Wars, demonstrates that American religious groups were indelibly shaped by the white supremacist eugenics movement of the early Twentieth century. Her current research explores the relationship between religion and political views, with a particular focus on intersections of religion and class. In her spare time, she enjoys CrossFit and any manner of outdoor activities, especially in the Adirondacks.