Miller Center

Guian McKee

Portrait of Guian McKee

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Phone: 434-243-8856

Guian McKee is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the University of Virginia. He joined the Miller Center’s Presidential Recordings Program in August 2002. McKee received a Ph.D. in American history at the University of California, Berkeley in May 2002. His research interests include U.S. urban, political, and policy history. He is the author of The Problem of Jobs: Liberalism, Race, and Deindustrialization in Philadelphia, published in November 2008 by the University of Chicago Press. He is currently working on a new project that will examine the rise of the health care economy in American cities after World War II, focusing on the development of hospitals and academic medical centers as critical but problematic urban economic anchors as well as drivers of cost in the larger health care system. He has published articles in the Journal of Urban History, Journal of Policy History, Journal of Planning History, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Community Development Investment Center, and the Washington Post’s “Monkey Cage” blog. In 2007, he delivered the keynote address at the conference "In the Shadow of the Great Society: American Politics, Culture and Society Since 1964," hosted by the Rothermere American Institute and the American History Research Seminar, University of Oxford, U.K. At UVA, McKee is a fellow with the Center for Health Policy and an affiliate member of the Center for Cultural Landscapes at the School of Architecture. He is also affiliated with the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.
McKee has taught courses on American social policy history, urban history, and health care history.
View his curriculum vitae.

Miller Center Projects

At the Miller Center, McKee works with the Presidential Recordings Program, where he is the editor of Volumes 6 and 7 of The Presidential Recordings of Lyndon B. Johnson. These volumes cover the period from mid-April to mid-June 1964, during which the Johnson administration lobbied for passage of the Civil Rights and Economic Opportunity Acts and struggled with increasing difficulties in Southeast Asia. McKee is also the editor of a thematic volume that includes Johnson’s recorded conversations about the War on Poverty. This project is currently being published digitally by the University of Virginia Press through its Rotunda electronic imprint. Currently, McKee is also a co-editor for two volumes of the Miller Center’s First Year 2017 project (Volume 3: Fiscal Policy & Volume 7: Opportunity and Mobility).

Selected Publications

“The Hospital City in an Ethnic Enclave: Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston’s Chinatown, and the Urban Political Economy of Health Care,” Journal of Urban History 42:2 (March 2016).

“Prescription for Success: LBJ’s Passage of Medicare Offers a Playbook for the Next President,” Miller Center First Year 2017 Project, (Miller Center, February 2016).

“What’s the connection between the Baltimore riots and the Affordable Care Act?” Washington Post “Monkey Cage,” December 3, 2015.

Thriving Cities Project, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, UVA, Endowment Brief: “The Just and Well-Ordered” (IASC, 2015).

“A Confident Humility: MPP Students and the ‘Uses of History,’” Journal of Public Affairs Education 20:1 (February 2014).

“‘A Wasteful and Dangerous Thing’: Lyndon Johnson and Grassroots Activism,” in The War on Poverty & Struggles for Racial & Economic Justice: Views from the Grassroots ed. Lisa Hazijirian & Annelise Orleck (Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, forthcoming, 2011).

Review Essay, “Are Urban Historians Bowling Alone? Social Capital Theory and Urban History,” Journal of Urban History 36:5 (September 2010): 709-717.

“‘A Utopian, A Utopianist, or Whatever the Heck it is’: Edmund Bacon and the Complexity of the City,” in Imagining Philadelphia: Edmund Bacon and the Future of the City ed. Scott Knowles (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).

“Arlen Specter seizes the day — again,” Boston Globe, April 30, 2009

“A Wasteful and Dangerous Thing: Lyndon Johnson and Grassroots Activism,” in The War on Poverty & Struggles for Racial & Economic Justice: Views from the Grassroots ed. Lisa Hazijirian (Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, forthcoming, 2009).

“‘I’ve Never Dealt With a Government Agency Before’: Philadelphia’s Somerset Knitting Mills Project, the Local State, and the Missed Opportunities of Urban Renewal,” Journal of Urban History, Special Issue on Urban Renewal, forthcoming 2008.

“Learning From Past Poverty Wars,” Boston Globe, July 26, 2007, p. A9

“Blue Sky Boys, Professional Citizens, and Knights in Shining Money: Philadelphia’s Penn Center Project and the Constraints of Private Development,” Journal of Policy History 6, no. 7 (February 2007).

“Urban Deindustrialization and Local Public Policy: Industrial Renewal in Philadelphia, 1953-1976,” Journal of Policy History 16, no. 1 (2004): 66-98.

“Prelude to Faith-Based Initiatives?: The Johnson Presidential Recordings and the Debate over Parochial Schools in the War on Poverty,” Miller Center Report 19, no. 1 (Winter 2003): 21-27.

“Liberal Ends Through Illiberal Means: Race, Urban Renewal, and Community in the Eastwick Section of Philadelphia, 1949-1990,” Journal of Urban History 27, no. 5 (July 2001): 547-583.

Course List

Comparative Policy History

Changing Context of Public Policy

Politics of Health Care in America: History, Policy, and Society

Health and Health Care in U.S. History

Work, Poverty, and Welfare: 20th Century U.S. Social Policy

Suburban America: Beyond the Crabgrass Frontier?

Creating the American Metropolis: Cities and Suburbs in the Twentieth Century United States, Rodman Honors Seminar, spring 2003

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