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Pamela Haag

Pamela Haag

Pamela Haag is an American writer and historian.

Pamela Haag
Alma materYale University
OccupationWriter, historian


Haag received a Ph.D. in History from Yale University in 1995, and a B.A. from Swarthmore College, where she graduated with Highest Honors. She also earned an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College in 2008. She has held numerous fellowships, including a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, and postdoctoral positions at both Brown and Rutgers universities.[1]


Haag’s essays, books, and opinion address a broad range of topics.[2]

Her first book was a scholarly monograph, Consent: Sexual Rights and the Transformation of American Liberalism (Cornell University Press, 1999). It discusses the "transition from classic to modern liberalism, and the cultural emergence of a concept of a right to privacy and sexual liberty, decades before the concept became legally prominent in the late 1900s".[3][4][2][5]

Haag was the Director of Research for the AAUW Educational Foundation for five years and, while there, published research on girls' insights about their challenges in school life, called "Voices of a Generation" (Marlowe, 2000).[2]

Marriage Confidential: Love in the Post-Romantic Age (HarperCollins, 2012), is cultural commentary about the state of 21st-century marriage. It explores the dilemma of the "semi-happy" couple—not miserable in marriage but not content, either—and it discusses how some couples are redefining marriage. Among others, The Washington Post reviewed it as "flat-out brilliant"; Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review, and it was chosen by the Huffington Post as one of the notable and important books of the season.

The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture (Basic Books, 2016) highlights the gun industry rather than gun owners. The book delves into the historical archives of the Winchester and Colt’s corporations, and the ghostly legend of gun heiress Sarah Winchester. Gunning argues among other things that the gun mystique truly flourished and developed not on the frontier of the 1800s but in the urban, modern, “post-frontier” America of the 1900s. Haag pays particular attention to how the gun industry itself worked to build markets, both in the U.S. and, crucially, abroad. She argues that the gun shifted from something that Americans needed but didn't especially love in the 1800s to something that they loved but didn't especially need in the 1900s.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

The Gunning of America was praised as "beautifully composed", "brilliant", "remarkable", and "masterful" in reviews, including The New Republic, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Review of Books, Maclean's, Time, and others. It received a starred review in Publishers Weekly.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22]

The Gunning of America was named a best book of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews, The Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and an outstanding academic title by Choice. It was excerpted in The Wall Street Journal, Politico, and Salon.[2][23][24][25]

Haag has also published in places such as: The American Scholar, NPR, The Christian Science Monitor, Slate, Huffington Post, Ms., The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Post, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Antioch Review, New Haven Review, and The Times (London), as well as peer-reviewed academic journals. Haag was also a regular columnist in 2012 and 2013 at Big Think.[2]

Selected works


  • Consent: Sexual Rights and the Transformation of American Liberalism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999)
  • Voices of a Generation: Girls Talk about Their Lives Today (Marlowe: 2000)
  • Marriage Confidential (New York: HarperCollins, 2011).
  • The Gunning of America (Basic Books, 2016)
  • Revise: The Scholar-Writer's Essential Guide to Tweaking, Editing, and Perfecting Your Manuscript (Yale University Press  2021)


  1. "Past Projects: 1993 – 1995 War, Peace, and Society in Historical Perspective". Rutgers University. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  2. "Pamela Haag : Award-Winning Author and Essayist".
  3. "Nonfiction Book Review: Marriage Confidential: The Post-Romantic Age of Workhorse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses, and Rebel Couples Who Are Rewriting the Rules by Pamela Haag. Harper, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-171928-8".
  4. See, Carolyn (May 26, 2011). "Pamela Haag's 'Marriage Confidential': Pearls of wisdom about matrimony" via
  5. Shivani, Anis (July 9, 2011). "The 20 Most Anticipated Books Of Summer 2011". HuffPost.
  6. Wing, Sage Van. "The Business Of Guns In America".
  7. Fabrizio, Doug. "The Gunning of America".
  8. "Interview".
  9. "After Words Pamela Haag, Apr 14 2016 - Video -".
  10. HOLAHAN, DAVID. "'Gunning Of America' Traces Role Of New Haven's Winchester Gun Makers".
  11. Nadir, Alexia (April 15, 2016). "Interview" (PDF).
  12. "The Guns That Won". The New Republic.
  13. Lozada, Carlos (April 7, 2016). "Guns in America were no big deal, until big business made us love them" via
  14. "Nonfiction Book Review: The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture by Pamela Haag. Basic, $29.99 (528p) ISBN 978-0-465-04895-3".
  15. Cole, David (July 14, 2016). "The Terror of Our Guns" via
  16. Price, Matthew (April 15, 2016). "Book Review" (PDF).
  17. "The gunning of America". April 24, 2016.
  18. Canfield, Kevin (April 14, 2016). "Book review" (PDF).
  19. Begley, Sarah (April 25, 2016). "Book Review" (PDF).
  20. "Tim Parks on translating Leopardi".
  21. "Data" (PDF).
  22. "2016: Summer books we've loved so far". June 9, 2016 via
  23. "How the Government Launched the U.S. Gun Industry". Politico.
  24. Haag, Pamela (April 22, 2016). "The Commercial Origins of American Gun Culture" via
  25. "Our gun myths are all wrong: The real history behind the Second Amendment clichés that have sust..." April 30, 2016.
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