About Me


Greetings! I’m Stephen Leccese, a historian and teacher who’s transitioning out of academia into new careers. I’ll be earning my PhD from Fordham University soon and then leaving academia behind. I started this blog to stay connected to the historical community after I leave, because I still love writing and learning about history.

Follow me on Twitter for blog updates and fun, interesting, or weird posts about history!

Check out the Historic Thoughts YouTube channel for new historical content!



The Professor Who Was Ostracized for Claiming the Civil War Was About Slavery – In 1911,” History News Network, Aug. 4, 2019

“Crédit Mobilier” and “Sinking of the USS Maine,” in Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories in American History, ed. Jeffrey Webb (ABC-Clio, May 2019)

“Labor Reformer George Gunton: A Progressive-Era Divorce Scandal,” Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era Blog (March 20, 2019)

Economic Inequality and the New School of American Economics,” Special Issue – Growing Apart: Religious Reflection on the Rise of Economic Inequality, Religions 8.6 (2017): 99-110.

John D. Rockefeller, Standard Oil, and the Rise of Corporate Public Relations in Progressive America, 1902-1908,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 16.3 (July 2017): 245-63.

“Capitalism and Slavery in the United States (Topical Guide)” H-Slavery, July 28, 2015 (updated and revised  with subscriber/expert feedback)

“Capitalism and Slavery in the United States: Where Do We Stand?H-Slavery, July 15, 2015          

What the Debate About the Confederate Flag Reveals,” History News Network, July 12, 2015


Adjunct Lecturer, LaGuardia Community College, 2016-2019

Teaching Fellow, Fordham University, 2016-2018


“Business, Government, and the Shaping of ‘The Public’ in the Progressive Era,” Policy History Conference, Tempe, AZ, May 2018

“Pro-Trust Thought Among American Progressive Economists, 1880- 1900,” 2018 Business History Conference, Baltimore, MD, Apr. 2018

“Historical Arguments for a Wage Increase,” Growing Apart: The Implications of Economic Inequality Interdisciplinary Conference, Boston College, MA, Apr. 2016

“Mass Consumption in American Economic Thought, 1865-1900,” 19th Annual Brian Bertoti Innovative Perspectives in History Graduate Conference, Virginia Tech, VA, Mar. 2016

“America’s Political Economists and the Intellectual Roots of Mass Consumption, 1865-1900,” Graduate Student Association Conference, Fordham University, NY, Mar. 2015

“Fire and Ice: How the Combined Tactics of Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold Won the Battle of Saratoga,” Phi Alpha Theta 2014 National Convention, Albuquerque, NM, Jan. 2014