Gary Cross would probably be called a 20th century US cultural historian with a focus on consumption, childhood, and leisure issues. But, as a historian trained in modern French and German history and with experience in British and Australian libraries and universities, he has also done comparative history on work, political economy, and time. He has an on-going interest in the modern history of western technology and co-authored a text on the subject. His abiding theme is the origins, uses, meanings, and consequences of 20th century affluence with books like Time and Money: The Making of Consumer Culture, Kids Stuff: Toys and the Changing World of American Childhood, An All-Consuming Century, The Cute and the Cool, and The Playful Crowd: Pleasure Places in the 20th Century. His most recent book, "Men to Boys", explores the decline of markers of male maturity in American culture since 1945. He is currently completing on two projects, a book about packaged pleasures, the engineering of sensual intensity around 1900, and a book about how modern nostalgia is shaped by consumer culture. He tries to reach audiences beyond the academy and encourage students to ask probing questions about the present that can be explained by the past.