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U. professor Zelizer elected to Society of American Historians

Julian Zelizer

Tom Cogill/

Ronald Reagan Centennial, Feb 10-11, 2011, Washington DC

Wilson School professor Julian Zelizer has been elected as a member of the Society of American Historians, which composes around 400 members, including professional historians, journalists, and film and documentary makers.

“I am honored by the Society’s recognition of my work and to join this distinguished group of writers,” Zelizer said.


Zelizer is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs, and he has been a professor at the University since 2007. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Brandeis University in 1991, and he received his master's degree and Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University in 1994 and 1996, respectively.

According to website of the University Department of History, Zelizer “has been one of the pioneers in the revival of American political history” and is the author of several books, including “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society,” published in 2015, and “Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security—From World War II to the War on Terrorism,” published in 2010.

Zelizer has edited 10 books on American political history, and he has published over 700 op-eds in outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. He also has a weekly column on Some of his recent op-eds include “Trump’s Hidden Success,” published on, and “How Medicare Both Salved and Scarred American Healthcare,” published on Zócalo Public Square.

He is also a regular contributor on CNN’s TV channel, and he co-hosts the podcast "Politics & Polls" with Sam Wang, University professor of neuroscience and molecular biology and founder of the Princeton Election Consortium. Wang, a polling expert, said that if President Donald Trump won more than 240 electoral votes, he would eat a bug — which he later did on CNN.

In addition, Zelizer has received fellowships from the Brookings Institution, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the New America Foundation.

Zelizer is not the only member of his family at the University. His mother, Viviana Zelizer, is a professor of sociology at the University, and his wife, Meg Jacobs, is a research scholar in the Wilson School.


The Society of American Historians was founded in 1939 by Columbia history professor Allan Nevins, in order to “bring good historical writing to the largest possible audience.”

The society also sponsors four awards every year for nonfiction books and dissertations. Those awards are the Francis Parkman Prize for the best nonfiction work in American history, the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for the best historical novel on an American theme, the Allan Nevins Prize for the best-written history doctoral dissertation, and the Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Prize for distinguished writing in American history.

The society's Executive Secretary is Andie Tucher ’76, who served as a speechwriter during Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. Other members in the society include historians Danielle Allen ’93, James Goodman GS ’90, Martha Hodes GS ’91, and Daniel Kevles ’60 GS ’64. Past presidents of the society include University History Professor Emeritus James McPherson.

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