Georgetown University
News Story

Professor Michael Kazin Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Department of History professor Michael Kazin was recently elected a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The historian joins a group of accomplished individuals who are “engaged in advancing the public good.”

Understanding the World to Make it a Better Place

Michael Kazin

Michael Kazin

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock and others who wanted to create an organization in the new republic that would both honor exceptional individuals in their fields and encourage collaboration for the betterment of society.

In 2020, the Academy welcomed 276 new artists, scholars, scientists and leaders from the public, non-profit and private sectors. Kazin was one such individual.

An expert in U.S. politics and social movements in the 19th and 20th centuries, Kazin studies why feminism, black freedom, labor or anti-war movements succeeded, failed or otherwise. Kazin has always thought that it is vital to engage audiences on a wider level, so frequently writes for non-academic periodicals such as Raritan, The Wilson Quarterly, The New York Times, and The American Prospect in addition to his numerous scholarly publications.

His latest book “War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914-1918” (Simon and Schuster, 2017), was named an Editor’s Choice by the New York Times Book Review and was awarded the Elise M. Boulding Prize for the best book in peace history by the Peace History Society.

Since 2009, Kazin has also been co-editor of Dissent, a quarterly magazine of the democratic left. He describes it as a “labor of love and political commitment.”

“Since I went to graduate school to learn more about the social movements that intrigued me, I have always wanted to help change the world as well as to understand how it got this way,” Kazin says. “By becoming a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, I hope to advance both of these goals, which many fellow members share.”

Kazin is a great historian, but also an integral part of the Georgetown community.

“It is such a privilege to have Michael Kazin as a colleague,” says Bryan McCann, chair of the history department. “He is a leading scholar of US political history—and a particularly eminent scholar of the political left—the editor of an influential magazine, and a great teacher and mentor. He makes a huge contribution to Georgetown.”

-by Shelby Roller (G’19)