I am a Professor of History and an affiliate faculty member with the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Carrie Chapman Catt Center. I earned my PhD from the University of Texas, where I trained as a historian of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
A co-founder of Women’s & Gender Historians of the Midwest, a list and book review editor for H-Women, a member of the teaching prize committee for the American Historical Association, and the first Visiting Distinguished Professor at the Theodore Roosevelt Center, I am currently treasurer for the Society of Historians of the Gilded Age & Progressive Era (SHGAPE) and a historical advisor to the Theodore Roosevelt Center and Presidential Library initiative. I served as the bibliographer for the National First Ladies Library from 2001 to 2018.
My most recent book, "Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts" (Viking, 2012), made several discoveries of this important American woman. "Alice: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker" (Viking, 2007), was a New York Times Notable Book, chosen for Book-of-the-Month Club, and reviewed widely. I have also published two books about Theodore Roosevelt.
I have given talks at the Wilson Center, the National Constitution Center, the Miller Center, Printers Row Lit Fest, the Savannah Book Festival, and have appeared on C-SPAN, CNN, the Diane Rehm Show, and National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. I was recently featured on the Smithsonian Channel's television series "First Ladies Revealed" speaking about Edith Roosevelt in the White House.
I am currently under contract with Viking/Penguin for a biography of American entrepreneur Elizabeth Arden.