Colin Gordon is interested in public policy and political economy in the United States since 1920. His first book, New Deals: Business, Labor and Politics, 1920-1935 (Cambridge University Press, 1994), is a major reconsideration of the relationship of the Roosevelt Administration to the business community in the 1930s. His second book, Dead on Arrival: The Politics of Health in Twentieth Century America (Princeton University Press, 2003), is a history of health care policy in the United States across the twentieth century. His third book, Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008) traces the transformation of metropolitan St. Louis in the twentieth century, focusing on local regulation of land use, including restrictive deed covenants, real estate restrictions, and municipal zoning. Mapping Decline employs both conventional archival research and digital (GIS) mapping of a range of archival, demographic, and political data.
Gordon is a senior research consultant at the Iowa Policy Project, for which he has written (with Peter Fisher and Elaine Ditsler) a number of reports on health coverage, economic development, and wages and working conditions (including the biennial State of Working Iowa series).
Professor Gordon received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1990 and is the current Chair of the Department of History.