Lewis Johnson

Thesis title: "Courting Segregationists?: White Southern Responses to African American Civil Rights Issues and Republican Party Electoral Strategy, 1945-1952."


I was born and raised in Central Scotland. From 2017 to 2021, I studied History and Politics (MA) at the University of Edinburgh. In Year 3, I developed a keen interest in the history of the United States. In my MA Dissertation, I analysed the 1932 U.S. presidential election campaign through the lens of the African American printed press to better understand both Herbert Hoover's and Franklin Roosevelt's support with voters.

In 2021, I then completed a Masters (MSc) degree in American History. My MSc Dissertation focused on the post-World War II 'triumph' of liberal Republicanism and explored the ideological battle between Senator Robert A. Taft and General Dwight D. Eisenhower for the Republican presidential nomination in 1952.

In September 2022, I began my PhD in History. It is a project kindly funded by the Jenny Balston Scholarship.


MA History and Politics, First Class (University of Edinburgh, 2017-2021).

MSc American History, Distinction (University of Edinburgh, 2021-2022).

Responsibilities & affiliations

Scottish Association for the Study of America (SASA), Member.

Historians of the Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS), Member.

British Association for American Studies (BAAS), Member.

Research summary

I am most interested in the political history of the post-World War II United States. In particular, my research centres around the Republican Party (GOP) and its efforts to mobilise majorities in a period of long-term political marginalisation; from 1928 to 1952, for example, no Republican candidate won a single presidential election. Within this framework, I investigate how and why the Republicans exploited, or at least attempted to, issues or race, class, or electoral geography to build new support. 

Current research interests

My PhD thesis explores white Southern responses to post-World War II African American civil rights issues and connects them with the Republican Party's electoral strategy. In doing so, I hope I can draw clear links between the two, and better understand the 'roots' of the GOP's success in the American South.

Project activity

MA Dissertation, "'The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea': Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the 1932 Presidential Election in the African American Press." (14 April 2021).

MSc Dissertation, "Robert A. Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Triumph of the Liberal Republicans, 1950-1952." (15 August 2022).