Professor of History and Public Affairs, Princeton University

“My hope is that more students answer the feeling of frustration not with resignation, not with moving to the private sector, but seeing this as a new 1930s, a moment we need you to go to capitals and go to Washington and try to remake the way this whole system works.”
- Julian Zelizer

Delece Smith-Barrow of The Hechinger Report Interviews Julian Zelizer






As our leading scholar of recent American political history, he has studied the relentless rise of partisanship that has polarized American politics and society and politicized our response to Covid-19 and other issues that are crucial to our future.


Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, specializing in the second half of the 20th century and the 21st century. In addition to teaching at Princeton, he co-hosts a podcast, Politics & Polls, in which he and fellow Princeton professor Sam Wang discuss topics related to politics, and is also a contributor to NPR’s “Here & Now” program. He’s received fellowships from the Brookings Institution, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and New America.


Bachelor’s (B.A.) from Brandeis University Doctorate (Ph.D.) in History from Johns Hopkins University

MAJOR PUBLICATIONS Julian Zelizer writes a weekly column for CNN.com and he has published over 900 op-eds for various news outlets. He has also authored or edited 19 books on American political history. Some of his more resent publications are Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, The Fall of a Speaker, Rise of the New Republican Party, Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974, and The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment. He is currently working on finishing his next book Abraham Joshua Heschel (Yale University Press).


Newt Gingrich and the Dawn of an Era, New York Times Book Review, July 17, 2020 Zelizar joins Pamela Paul on her New York Times Book Review podcast to talk about when he believes our toxic political environment was born.

“Dr. Julian Zelizer at TEDxEast,” TEDx Talks, January 2014 Zelizer says yes, Washington is broken, but he also reminds his audience that it’s an old complaint. He says Washington more than likely won’t fix itself and that social movement pressure is essential for encouraging it to do so. He also says we need new institutions and not just new leadership, and that we need to think more about how the news media works and how the 24-hour news cycle contributes to partisanship. “A Conversation with Julian Zelizer,” Robert Strauss Center, February 2015 Zelizer discusses his book The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society, including parallels between LBJ’s experiences in the 1960s and the first few years of the Obama administration. Both leaders had a productive first couple of years before Congress turned on them and stymied their decision-making abilities.