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Wilfred McClay

2009-2010 William E. Simon Distinguished Visiting Professor
School of Public Policy


Wilfred M. McClay is the G. T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma. He is Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and has served since 2002 on the National Council on the Humanities. Among his books is The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America, which won the Merle Curti Award of the Organization of American Historians.

McClay was Fulbright Senior Lecturer in American Studies for Spring 2007 at the University of Rome, and has been the recipient of fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Academy of Education, the Howard Foundation, the Earhart Foundation, and the Danforth Foundation. He serves on the editorial boards of First Things, Wilson Quarterly, Society, and The New Atlantis, and is a frequent contributor to a wide variety of both scholarly and general-interest publications. He was educated at St. John's College (Annapolis) and the Johns Hopkins University, where he received a PhD in history in 1987.


  • PhD, Johns Hopkins University
  • BA, St. John's College


  • American Intellectual History
  • Ethics in Public Policy
  • Humanities
  • Liberty in Western Civilization


  • Seminar in Political Issues: The Problem of Expertise in a Democratic Society