Michael Heale spent the greater part of his career at Lancaster University, of which he is now Emeritus Professor of American History. He has served as the Editor of the Journal of American Studies, and been a visiting professor or fellow at several US universities. He joined the RAI as an associate fellow in 2003, and held a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship, 2005-07. His research interests have embraced early 19th century US history (social reform and the Jacksonian era), the British and European historiography of America, American anticommunism, the Reagan administration, and late 20th century US political history. He currently works mainly on historiographical matters.
- 'From City Fathers to Social Critics: Humanitarianism and Government in New York, 1790-1860', Journal of American History, 63 (June 1976), 21-41.
- The Presidential Quest: Candidates and Images in American Political Culture, 1787-1852 (London and New York, 1982).
- 'American History: The View from Britain', Reviews in American History, 14 (December, 1986), 501-522.
- American Anticommunism: Combating the Enemy Within, 1850-1970 (Baltimore, 1990).
- McCarthy's Americans: Red Scare Politics in State and Nation, 1935-1965 (London & Athens GA, 1998).
- ‘Beyond the “Age of McCarthy”: Anticommunism and the Historians,’ in M. Stokes, ed., The State of U.S. History (Oxford & New York, 2002), 131-53.
- ‘The Sixties as History: A Review of the Political Historiography’, Reviews in American History, 33 (March 2005), 133-52.
- ‘Ronald Reagan and the Historians,’ in Cheryl Hudson and Gareth Davies, eds., Ronald Reagan and the 1980s (New York: Palgrave, 2008), 249-61.
- ‘Anatomy of a Scare: Yellow Peril Politics in America, 1980-1993,’ Journal of American Studies, 43 (April 2009), 19-47.
- Contemporary America: Power, Dependency, and Globalization since 1980 (Malden MA & Oxford, 2011)
- Historians Across Borders: Writing American History in a Global Age (Berkeley, 2014), co-editor (with Nicolas Barreyre, Stephen Tuck and Cecile Vidal) and contributor.
- ‘Characteristics and Contours: Mapping American History in Europe’, co-author with Mary-Susan Grant, Halina Parafianowicz, and Maurizio Vaudagna, in American Historical Review ‘Roundtable’ (June 2014), 749-59.
- The United States in the Long Twentieth Century: Politics and Society since 1900 (2nd edn., London, 2015)