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Kathryn S. Olmsted  

Professor and Department Chair of the History Department at UC Davis, Author of "Right out of California: The 1930s and the Big Business Roots of Modern Conservatism"

Professor Kathy Olmsted is Professor and Department Chair of the History Department at the University of California (UC Davis). Her latest book, "Right Out of California: The 1930s and the Big Business Roots of Modern Conservatism" reveals how California’s businessmen learned the language of populism with the help of allies in the media and entertainment industries, and in the process created a new style of politics: corporate funding of grassroots groups, military-style intelligence gathering against political enemies, professional campaign consultants, and alliances between religious and economic conservatives. Her other book "Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11" (Oxford University Press, 2009) documents the shifts in conspiracy theories in America which reflect a deterioration in the relationship of trust between American citizens and their federal government. Much of her research focuses on the influence of anti-Communism on American politics. In addition to these, her other books include:

"Red Spy Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth Bentley" (University of North Carolina Press, 2002) and "Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI" (University of North Carolina Press, 1996).

Professor Olmsted was the Conspiracy & Democracy Visiting Fellow for Easter Term 2014. She holds a BA in history from Stanford University, an MA in history from UC Davis as well as a Ph.D. in history from UC Davis.

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