Nicholas Guyatt
Senior Lecturer in Modern History



BA and MPhil (Cantab), PhD (Princeton)

Nicholas Guyatt works on the intellectual and political history of the Atlantic World, with a particular focus on issues of race, citizenship and empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He has held research fellowships at the Center for Human Values and the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University, and at the Stanford Humanities Center. In 2013-14 he will be a British Academy Mid-Career Fellow, the Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute of the University of Oxford, a Barra Foundation fellow at the Library Company of Philadelphia/Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and a Peterson fellow at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts.

He is a member of the editorial advisory board of Zed Books, and was the editor of Zed's 'Global History of the Present' series. He has written about American history and politics for the London Review of Books, the Nation magazine, and the Times Literary Supplement.



Nicholas Guyatt's first monograph, Providence and the Invention of the United States, 1607-1877, is a study of the forms of religious nationalism which developed in North America during the colonial and early national periods. He has also written two books on contemporary America: Another American Century, on U.S. foreign policy since the end of the Cold War; and Have a Nice Doomsday, on apocalyptic Christians and their political ambitions during the recent ascendancy of the Religious Right.

He is currently working on a book about the connections between ideas of racial equality and programmes of racial separation in the early American republic, entitled The Scale of Beings and the Prehistory of 'Separate but Equal'; and on a project exploring the links between colonization and race theory in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English-speaking world.

He would welcome postgraduate students interested in the history of the Atlantic world or the United States before 1900.

Resources available for research students in York

The J.B. Morrell library has a good collection of journals and monographs on American history, and the University has recently made a significant investment in electronic materials including American newspaper databases, political materials, broadsides, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century journals, and a good deal of additional material. Postgraduate students should expect to travel to archives in the United States for specialised research, but American history is perhaps the greatest beneficiary of the recent interest in digitizing archival and library collections - especially for late-eighteenth and nineteenth century printed books.


Selected publications

Authored Books

  • Providence and the Invention of the United States, 1607-1877. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • Have a Nice Doomsday: Why Millions of Americans Are Looking Forward to the End of the World. London and New York: Ebury/Harper Perennial, 2007.
  • Another American Century: The United States and the World after 2000. London: Zed Books, 2000; revised edition, 2003.
  • The Absence of Peace: Understanding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. London: Zed Books, 1998.

Edited books

  • (with Richard Bessel and Jane Rendall) War, Empire and Slavery, 1770-1830 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010).


  • ‘'An Impossible Idea?' The Curious Career of Internal Colonization’. Journal of the Civil War Era. Forthcoming
  • ‘The End of the Cold War’. In The Oxford Handbook of the Cold War edited by Richard H. Immerman and Petra Goedde. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013: 605-22
  • America’s Conservatory: Race, Reconstruction and the Santo Domingo Controversy'. Journal of American History 97, (2011): 974-1000
  • "The Complexion of my Country': Benjamin Franklin and the Problem of Racial Diversity'. In The Blackwell Companion to Benjamin Franklin, edited by David Waldstreicher. Oxford: Blackwell, forthcoming.
  • "The Outskirts of Our Happiness': Race and the Lure of Colonization in the Early Republic'. Journal of American History 95, no. 4 (2009): 986-1011.
  • ''An Instrument of National Policy': Perry Miller and the Cold War.' Journal of American Studies 36, no. 1 (2002): 107-49.

Contact details

Dr Nicholas Guyatt
King's Manor K/376A
Department of History
University of York

Tel: Internal 2936, External (01904) 322936