Kruse holds a reputation as a renowned left-leaning professor and “history’s attack dog,” as he was once termed by The Chronicle of Higher Education, with a long track record of taking to platforms like Twitter to correct common misinterpretations of American history by conservative and other political commentators. As a scholar of 20th-century American history, Kruse has written books on religious nationalism, urban and suburban history, and the Civil Rights Movement. He has served as a professor at the University since 2000, most recently teaching a lecture on U.S. history from 1920 to 1974 as well as a seminar on the political history of civil rights.
Several conservative critics, including Princeton University student Abigail Anthony ’23, have argued that the University’s seeming inaction on Kruse’s alleged plagiarism stands in stark contrast to what some have criticized as the unjust termination of former classics professor Joshua Katz this past May.
During the spring of 2022, the University dismissed Katz following an internal finding that Katz “misrepresented facts” during a 2018 investigation into a relationship he had with a student, discouraged the alumna from participating in said investigation, and tried to prevent her from seeking mental health care when she was a student, according to the University. His defenders have claimed the dismissal was retribution for a controversial column Katz wrote for Quillette in July 2020 in which he opposed a faculty letter on racial equity and labeled a now-inactive student group, the Black Justice League, a “small local terrorist organization.”