Jennifer Burns, an expert on novelist Ayn Rand, describes herself as a historian of the 20th century United States working at the intersection of intellectual, political and cultural history, with a particular interest in ideas about the state, markets and capitalism and how these play out in policy and politics. Her first book, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right (Oxford, 2009), was an intellectual biography of the libertarian novelist Ayn Rand. She is currently writing a book about the economist Milton Friedman.
She teaches courses on modern U.S. history, religious history and the intellectual history of capitalism. Her writing on the history of conservatism, libertarianism and liberalism has appeared in a number of academic and popular journals, including Reviews in American History, Modern Intellectual History, Journal of Cultural Economy, New York Times, New Republic and Dissent.