Top Young Historians: Julian ZelizerArchives
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Julian Zelizer, 36
Teaching Position: Professor of History, Boston University and Faculty Associate, Center for American Political Studies, Harvard University.
Formerly: Associate Professor, Department of History, State University of New York at Albany (Joint Appointment with Department of Public Administration and Policy), Affiliated Faculty, Center of Policy Research, State University of New York at Albany.
Area of Research: 20th century U.S. political history
Education: Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1996
Major Publications: On Capitol Hill: The Struggle to Reform Congress and its Consequences, 1948-2000 (Cambridge University Press, 2004), and Taxing America: Wilbur D. Mills, Congress, and the State, 1945-1975 (Cambridge University Press, 1998; paperback edition 2000). Editor, New Directions in Policy History (Penn State Press, 2005). (This book was previously published as a special issue of the Journal of Policy History); Editor, The American Congress: The Building of Democracy (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004) and Co-Editor, The Democratic Experiment: New Directions in American Political History (Princeton University Press, 2003). Zelizer is also a co-editor for the Politics and Society in Twentieth Century America series of Princeton University Press and on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Policy History.
Current projects include; Chicken Hawks and Lonely Doves: How Eight American Presidents Struggled withConservatism and the Legacy of Vietnam. (Book Manuscript under contract with Yale University Press), and Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s. Co-editor with Bruce Schulman. (Book Manuscript, under contract with Harvard University Press).
Awards: Zelizer's Taxing America was the winner of the Organization of American Historians 2000 Ellis Hawley Prize for Best Book on the Political Economy, Politics, and Institutions of the United States and winner of the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation's 1998 D.B. Hardeman Prize for Best Publication on Congress.
The Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies, Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, 2005.
Mellon Visiting Senior Scholar, University of Cambridge, 2004.
Research Fellow, The Brookings Institution, 1995-1996.
Additional Info: Zelizer has appeared on national television (History Channel, Fox Television, C-SPAN), commercial and public radio, and newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Sacramento Bee, The Los Angeles Times, and The Albany Times Union.
Zelizer is working with BU colleague Bruce Schulman on establishing an Institute of Political History at Boston University.
Zelizer has been named to the board of directors of the Dirksen Congressional Center, a nonprofit research and educational institution that focuses on the history of Congress.
The Ford Foundation Fellowship was a terrific experience for me, intellectually and professionally. James Kloppenberg and I would meet regularly, including for lunches and dinners, and he worked very closely with me for two years. I had the opportunity to dig into the archives of Massachusetts to complete a substantive piece of historical research. The experience had a major impact on me and helped me decide to pursue this career. I also learned early on how historical research could be used to tackle contemporary questions. To this day, I have continued to work closely with undergraduates interested in conducting their own historical research.
I have always been inspired by interdisciplinary approaches to History, although I remain a historian at heart. I first encountered this way of thinking while I was a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where I regularly dined and met with fellow political scientists, economists, and sociologists who were working on similar issues from radically different perspectives. During those years, I formed several terrific friendships that have continued to this day. My first publication was also in a volume on the history of taxation since WWII, published by Cambridge University Press and the Woodrow Wilson Center. During the seminars leading up to the book, I was required to present my chapter to quite vigorous questioning at this stage in my career, by prominent scholars like Herbert Stein, another contributor who worked as an economist in Richard Nixon's administration.
Sometimes my youth has brought unexpected benefits. Every day, I purchase a salad for lunch at the Boston University food court. One day, I bought my salad right after a colleague and realized that I had been charged about 25 cents less. When I asked the cashier why I had been charged less, she said that was the undergraduate price! It turns out there is a two price system. Since that time, I have lost my discount.
By Julian Zelizer
About Julian Zelizer
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