Sarah Milov

Assistant Professor


Nau 435
Office Hours: By appointment

Field & Specialties

Modern United States
Political and Social Movements
History of Capitalism
Legal History


Ph.D. Princeton University, 2013

M.A. Princeton University, 2009

B.A.  Harvard , 2007

I am a historian of the twentieth century United States. My work focuses on how organized interest groups and everyday Americans influence government policy and the terms of political debate. My current book project, entitled Smoke and Ashes: From Corporatism to Neoliberalism in Tobacco's Twentieth Century (under contract at Harvard University Press), is a history of tobacco in the twentieth century that places farmers, government officials, and citizen-activists at the center of the story. Rather than focusing exclusively on "Big Tobacco," Smoke and Ashes demonstrates how domestic and global cigarette consumption rose through the efforts of organized tobacco farmers and US government officials; and how it fell as a result of local government action spurred by the efforts of citizen-activists and activist lawyers. 

I am also working toward two future projects. The first is an article-length examination of pregnancy and the anti-smoking movement in the last third of the twentieth century. My next book-length project will be a treatment of women as corporate and governmental whistleblowers in the twentieth century, which will lie at the intersection of legal history, gender history, and the history of science. 





Peer Reviewed

"Smoking as Statecraft: Promoting American Tobacco Production and Global Cigarette Consumption, 1947–1970," Journal of Policy History 28, No. 4. (2016), 707-747. 

"Promoting Agriculture: Farmers, the State, and Checkoff Marketing, 1935-2005," Business History Review, 90, No. 3 (2016). 

"Smoke Ring: From American Tobacco to Japanese Data," Osiris (forthcoming). 

"Clearing the Air: Donna Shimp v. AT&T," in Political History Unbound: Crisis and Continuity in 20th Century US Politics, Ed. Brent Cebul, Lily Geismer, Mason Williams (Chicago University Press: Forthcoming)



"Grass Roots Activists Won the War on Smoking. Can They Win the War on Climate Change?" Washington Post, 29 June 2017. 

(with Sarah Seo)  "Governor Shouldn't Sign Smoking Fine Bill," Richmond Times-Dispatch, 22 March 2016. 

(with Gabriel Rosenberg) "Back to school--or back to the fields?" The Hill, 11 August 2015.  

"Time to Regulate E-Cigarettes is Now," Christian Science Monitor, 9 January 2014. 



Awards & Honors

Fellow, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (2017)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California-San Francisco (Fall 2013)

Woodrow Wilson Society of Fellows, Princeton University (2011-2012)


Courses Taught

HIUS 1501: Disasters in America from Cholera to Katrina

HIUS 1501: The United States through Tobacco

HIUS 3151: Moralizing, Modernizing and Mass Politics, US 1900-1945

HIUS 3171: United States Since 1945

HIUS 3559: United States in the 1970s

HIUS 4500/STS3500: Debating Science in Modern America

HIUS 9021: United States in Transnational Perspective (Graduate Tutorial)

HIUS 9022: History of US Capitalism (Graduate Tutorial) 

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts