Jonathan Cohen

Field & Specialties

20th Century United States History
History of Gambling
Economic Inequality


M.A. University of Virginia (2015)

B.A. McGill University (2013)


Co-editor with David G. Schwartz, All In: Gambling in the Twentieth Century United States (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2018).

“Lost in the Flood: Bruce Springsteen’s Political Consciousness and the Vietnam War, 1968-2014” in Bruce Springsteen and Popular Music: Rhetoric, Social Consciousness, and Contemporary Culture ed. William I. Wolff (New York: Routledge, 2017), 17-30.

Review, Krister Swanson, Baseball’s Power Shift: How the Players Union, The Fans, and the Media Changed American Sports Culture (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016) and Matthew Futterman, Players: The Story of Sports and Money, and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2016) in Journal of Sports History Vol 44 No. 1 (2017): 129-131.

“‘Can Music Save Your Mortal Soul?’: A Bibliographic Survey of Rock as Religion,” Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies, Vol. 7 No. 1 (2016): 46-86.

“This is Your Hometown: Collective Memory, Industrial Flight, and the Fate of Freehold, New Jersey,” New Jersey Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 2 No. 1 (2016): 185-212.

“Spaceflight and the Separation of Church and State,” Astropolitics: The International Journal of Space Politics & Policy, Vol. 11 No. 1-2 (2013): 100-107.

Current Research

My dissertation, For a Dollar and a Dream: State Lotteries and American Inequality, examines the history of state lotteries in the economic, political, religious, and cultural context of the late twentieth century. 

I have written on the history of gambling for The Washington Post, The HillWe're History, Backstoryand Public Seminar, and my work was recently cited in an amicus brief on the Supreme Court case Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Awards & Honors

2018: Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, American Council of Learned Socities

2017: Visiting Fellowship, History Department, Harvard University

2016: Corcoran Department of History Prize for Undergraduate Teaching, University of Virginia Alumni Association

2016: Tobin Project Graduate Fellowship, The Tobin Project

2016: Bankard Pre-Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Virginia

2016: Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Fellowship, New York State Archives

2016: Grant-in-Aid, Rockefeller Archive Center

2016: Raven Society Fellowship, Raven Society, University of Virginia

2015: William R. Eadington Residency Fellowship, Center for Gaming Research, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

2015: Bernard Bellush Prize, New York Labor History Association

2015: Graduate Student Paper Award, New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance

2014, 2015: Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship, University of Virginia

2014: Sam Fishman Travel Grant, Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University

2014: Summer Research Grant, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia

2013: Research Fellowship, Kentucky Historical Society 

2013: Newman Family Jefferson Fellowship, Jefferson Scholars Foundation

Courses Taught

Primary Instructor:

United State History Since 1945 (summer 2017)

Teaching Assistant: 

America and War, 1900-2015 (spring 2016 and fall 2016)

The South in the Twentieth Century (spring 2015)

The Coming of the Civil War (fall 2014)