Professor Alex Keyssar

Alex Keyssar, Professor of History and Social Policy, Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy

Alexander Keyssar is the Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy. An historian by training, he has specialized in the excavation of issues that have contemporary policy implications. His 1986 book, Out of Work: The First Century of Unemployment in Massachusetts, was awarded three scholarly prizes. His most recent book, The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States (2000), was named the best book in U.S. history by both the American Historical Association and the Historical Society; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. A new and significantly updated version of The Right to Vote, was published this summer, and extends the narrative from the 2000 election through the election of Barack Obama. Keyssar is coauthor of Inventing America, a text integrating the history of technology and science into the mainstream of American history, as well as coeditor of a series on Comparative and International Working-Class History. He is also a co-author of The Way of the Ship (2008), an exploration of America’s maritime history. In 2004/5, Keyssar chaired the Social Science Research Council's National Research Commission on Voting and Elections. Keyssar's current research interests include election reform, the history of democracies, and the history of poverty.

Research Assistant Skills: Research Assistant will work on historical projects, focused on the history of campaign finance reform practices and law, and on the history of the Electoral College and attempts to reform or abolish the institution. Assistant should have strong library and research skills; be well organized and have some knowledge of U.S. History, and be pro-active about maintaining contact.