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Alexander Keyssar

Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government

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.

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. 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.