Julian Zelizer

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Julian Emanuel Zelizer (born December 6, 1969)  is a Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ​ at Princeton University ​​ and a fellow at New America. He is also well known for his role as a Political Analyst on CNN ​ where he analyzes politics. [2]

Early Life

Photo of Julian and his mother Viviana Zelizer ​ at Princeton, where they both teach

Julian Zelizer was born in Union Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey ​ on December 6, 1969 to parents Viviana Zelizer ​ and Gerald Zelizer. His mother Viviana is a has worked as a Professor of Sociology since 1985 and currently works along with her son at Princeton. His father Gerald has been a rabbi ​ for more than 30 years at a synagogue ​ in Metuchen, New Jersey ​ where Julian grew up. [4]

Zelizer's passion for study and scholarship was instilled by his mother and father at an early age.“Both my parents contributed to my interest in education, creating a culture where learning and knowledge is a valuable commodity,” Zelizer said. “I remember my grandfather, who also was a rabbi, used to say that being a professor and a rabbi is basically the same thing in terms of learning and teaching.” Zelizer said he learned about the “excitement and challenges” of working at a university through his mother, and observed how to educate and engage an audience by watching his father give sermons ​. [4]


Julian Zelizer graduated with a PhD from the Department of History at Johns Hopkins University ​ in 1996. His advisor was Professor Louis Galambos. He also graduated from the Department of History at Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts ​ with four Distinctions in 1993. In 1991, Julian Zelizer graduated from Brandeis University ​ with a Bachelor of Arts ​, Summa Cum Laude ​ with Highest Honors in History. [3] ​ His advisor was Professor James Kloppenberg.

Personal Life

Julian Zelizer is the husband of Meg Jacobs ​, a Senior Research Scholar at Princeton University. [38]

Faculty Appointments

Faculty profile video of Julian speaking in his office at Princeton

Julian Zelizer has been a Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ​ at Princeton University ​​ since 2013. [3] [5] ​ The Forbes Foundation and family endows two professorships to distinguished faculty at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. [7]

Zelizer first joined Princeton as a Professor of History and Public Affairs in 2007. His mother Viviana Zelizer ​ is a Lloyd Cotsen ’50 Professor of Sociology. Since 2007, Julian Zelizer was also a Faculty Associate at the Center for the Study for the Study of Democratic Politics a research program within the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs​ at Princeton University. [3] ​ When Julian Zelizer joined in 2007 they became the first mother-son team teaching pair in Princeton's history. [4]

Julian Zelizer was previously a Professor of History at Boston University ​ from 2004-2007. [3] ​ Zelizer was highly rated professor at the university receiving a 4.5/5 stars review on Ratemyprofessors.com ​ with many of his students calling him the best professor at Boston University. [8]

From 2002-2004 Julian Zelizer was an Associate Professor at the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the State University of New York at Albany where he held a Joint Appointment with the Department of Political Science. During this time, Zelizer was also an Affiliated Faculty at SUNY for its Center of Policy Research. [3]

From 1999-2002 Zelizer was an Associate Professor in the Department of History at SUNY. He also held a Joint Appointment with Department of Public Administration and Policy during this time. Julian Zelizer stated his career in academia as an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at SUNY in 1996. [3]


Cover of Julian's book, "Jimmy Carter"

Julian Zelizer has authored and edited 19 books covering topics including American politics ​, political history, Congress, the news media, national security, and right-wing politics ​. [9] [10] ​ He is considered to be one of the pioneers in the revival of American political history during the 1990s and 2000s.

List of Books

  • The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society (2015). Winner of the D.B. Hardeman Prize.
  • Governing America: The Revival of Political History by Julian E. Zelizer (2012). Honorable Mention, 2013 Prose Award in Government and Politics, Association of American Publishers.
  • Conservatives in Power: The Reagan Years, 1981-1989. Co-authored by Julian E. Zelizer and Meg Jacobs (2010)
  • Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security - From World War II to the War on Terrorism by Julian E. Zelizer (2010)
  • Jimmy Carter  by Julian E. Zelizer (2010). Named by The Washington Post as one of the best presidential biographies.
  • On Capitol Hill: The Struggle to Reform Congress and its Consequences, 1948-2000 by Julian E. Zelizer (2006)
  • Taxing America: Wilbur D. Mills, Congress, and the State, 1945-1975 by Julian E. Zelizer (1998). Winner of the Ellis Hawley Prize and the DB Hardeman Prize.
  • The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment. Edited by Julian E. Zelizer (2018)
  • Media Nation: The Political History of News in Modern America. Co-edited by Julian E. Zelizer and Bruce Schulman (2017)
  • America at the Ballot Box: Elections and American Political History. Co-edited with Gareth Davies (2015)
  • Medicare and Medicaid at 50: America's Entitlement Programs and the Age of Affordable Care (2015)
  • Faithful Republic: Religion and Politics in Modern America. Co-edited with Andrew Preston and Bruce Schulman (2015)
  • What's Good for Business: Business and American Politics Since World War II. Co-edited with Kimberly Phillips-Fein (2012)
  • The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment by Julian E. Zelizer (2010)
  • The Constitution and Public Policy in U.S. History by Bruce J. Schulman and Julian E. Zelizer (2009)
  • Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s by Bruce J. Schulman and Julian E. Zelizer (2008)
  • New Directions in Policy History. Edited by Julian Zelizer (2005)
  • The American Congress: The Building of Democracy. Edited by Julian E. Zelizer (2004)
  • The Democratic Experiment: New Directions in American Political History. Co-edited with Meg Jacobs and William Novak (2003) [9] [10]

In the Media

Julian Zelizer arguing that Trump is winning on CNN

Julian Zelizer is currently a Political Analyst at CNN ​ regularly featuring on the network to analyze political events. He has had a weekly column on CNN.com since 2008. [2] ​ He also is a regular contributor to The Atlantic ​. J ulian Zelizer has been featured on multiple news shows on television including on major networks including, MSNBC ​, CBS News ​, Fox News ​, CNBC ​, and BBC News ​​. He also publishes articles in news outlets about politics and current issues and has written articles for outlets including The New York Times ​, The Washington Post ​, Politico ​, Wall Street Journal ​, and The Economist ​. Zelizer has published over 800 op-eds. Julian Zelizer has featured in radio stations including National Public Radio ​, Public Radio International ​, and BBC Worldservice ​. [3] ​ Zelizer is one of the stars of CNN's popular decade documentary series.

Julian Zelizer’s first started making appearances in the media while teaching at the while he was a faculty member at State University of New York-Albany from 1996 to 2004. His first foray into television came after a local CBS television station invited him to appear on a morning news show after he hosted about the impeachment of Bill Clinton ​. With the success of that appearance, Zelizer became the station’s regular political expert, appearing live during the stalemate United States presidential election, 2000 ​ and during the Iraq War ​ in 2003. Early on in his media appearances Zelizer analyzed the performance of his favorite football team, the New York Jets ​ on an Albany radio show. [4]

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