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American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Jul 5, 2022

Bradley J. Sommer is a native of Ohio who received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2021. In Pittsburgh, he studied under labor historian Joe William Trotter. His dissertation was “Tomorrow Never Came: Race, Class, Reform, Conflict, and the Decline of an Industrial City, Toledo, Ohio, 1930-1980,” which he is now revising into a book.

Ohio is one of the country’s most populous states, a “purple” place that has usually determined the outcome of the presidential elections (though not in 2020, when Ohio went overwhelmingly for Trump). Brad talks about the difference between being a “de-industrial” and “post-industrial” city. And though Ohio has had its problems, none of its cities have been in crisis the way Detroit or Baltimore have.

Brad is also on the vicious and unforgiving job market, so if you’re looking for a good historian, let him know. You can read more about him at You can also follow him at @DrHistoryBrad on Twitter.