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Allan Carlson was Distinguished Visiting Professor of Politics and History at Hillsdale College, retiring in 2013. He is currently the John A. Howard Distinguished Fellow for Family and Religious Studies at the International Organization for the Family and Editor of The Natural Family: An International Journal of Research and Policy. In addition, he is a Senior Editor of Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity. He also served for twenty-two years as Editor of the Marriage and Family Studies Series for Transaction Books, the “Publisher of Record in International Social Science.” Carlson received his Ph.D. in Modern European History from The Ohio University. His doctoral dissertation was published as The Swedish Experiment in Family Politics: The Myrdals and the Interwar Population Crisis. His fifteen other books include:  

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From Cottage to Work Station: The Family’s Search for Social Harmony in the Industrial Age; The New Agrarian Mind: The Movement Toward Decentralist Thought in 20th Century America; The ‘American Way’: Family and Community in the Shaping of the American Identity; Third Ways: How Bulgarian Greens, Swedish Housewives, and Beer-Swilling Englishmen Created Family-Centered Economies—And Why They Disappeared; and [as editor] Land and Liberty: The Best Essays of FREE AMERICA. He has contributed chapters to over 50 additional volumes on issues of family life, education, agrarian theory, population, and religion. Carlson has also written for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The International Herald-Tribune, and many other periodicals. In 1988 U.S. President Ronald Reagan appointed him to the special National Commission on Children, on which he served until 1993. Carlson founded the World Congress of Families in 1997; its 13th major international session convened in Verona, Italy, in 2019. He has also taught at Gettysburg College and the Catholic University of America and lectured at universities and scholarly academies in over 20 other nations. He has been a frequent guest on radio and television, including CNN, BBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, NPR, C-SPAN, CBC, and MSNBC.


Allan Carlson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on May 7, 1949. While an undergraduate at Augustana College (Rock Island, Illinois), he met Elizabeth (“Betsy”) Belin; they subsequently married. They have four children and nine grandchildren (four of whom were born in 2016— the “year of the babies”). After home-schooling her own children for 16 years, Betsy became a Science Educator at the Burpee Museum of Natural History (Rockford, Illinois) and a regular participant in the museum’s annual “dinosaur digs” in Montana and Utah. Allan and Betsy now reside on the 200-acre farm launched by her parents in 1950 and located in Winnebago County, Illinois. Alongside the field crops, they raise some goats and sheep and maintain a modest commercial garden and a small chicken/duck-and-egg business: partly to amuse and engage the grandchildren.

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