Michael J. Durfee


Current Position Held: Faculty, Niagara University

Concentration: Postwar US History

Advisor: David Herzberg

PhD History, University at Buffalo
MA Teaching, Lewis and Clark College
MA History, University at Buffalo
BA History, University Buffalo


Michael Durfee successfully defended his dissertation entitled, Crack Era Reform: A Brief History of Crack Cocaine and the Rise of Mass Incarceration. Durfee’s work analyzes the dynamics of Crack Era Reform from 1985 to 1992, loosely constructed. In particular, the role of grassroots activism in the Bronx preceding passage of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 is examined set against shifting relationships between residents and an increasingly militarized police force. In addition to the local, the national moral panic in response to crack highlighted by sensational TV news and political rhetoric is also treated to help explain passage of now infamous mandatory minimums for crack offenders.