Professor Steve Ross

Professor of History at the University of Southern California and Co-director of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities


Steven J. Ross is Professor of History at the University of Southern California. The first person in his family to go to college, he earned degrees from Columbia, Oxford, and Princeton. Ross is the author of Workers On the Edge: Work, Leisure, and Politics in Industrializing Cincinnati, 1788-1890 (1985), Movies and American Society (2002) and Working-Class Hollywood: Silent Film and the Shaping of Class in America (1998)—which was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the "Best Books of 1998." His Op-Ed pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, International Herald-Tribune, HuffingtonPost, and Washington Independent.

Steve's work on movie stars and politics has led to appearances on "The Today Show," "ABC Evening News," CNN's "American Morning" and "The Situation Room," Fox News, and programs broadcast on Canadian, British, and French television—as well as numerous documentaries about Hollywood. Steve is co-founder and co-director of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at USC.

Ross' forthcoming book, Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics (September 2011), received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Film Scholars Award—the academic equivalent of an "Oscar."

We caught up with Steve Ross during his visit to the US Studies Centre.