Julian E. Zelizer

Julian E. Zelizer Jon Roemer

Julian E. Zelizer (PhD, Johns Hopkins University) is professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. His book, Taxing America: Wilbur D.  Mills, Congress and the State, 1945-1975 (1998) won the Organization of American Historian’s Ellis W. Hawley prize for the best book on political economy, politics, and institutions of the modern United States, and the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation’s D. B. Hardeman Prize for Best Publication on Congress. Zelizer is also the author of On Capitol Hill: The Struggle to Reform Congress and its Consequences, 1948-2000 (2004) and Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security--From World War II to the War on Terrorism (2010). With William J. Novak and Meg Jacobs, he is also a coeditor of The Democratic Experiment: New Directions in American Political History (2003).

Q & A

Where are you from?
New Jersey

Who are your favorite writers?
Richard Hofstadter, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., David Halberstam, Robert Dallek, Robert Caro, David Kennedy

Which book/books have had the biggest influence on your writing?
Richard Hofstadter, The Age of Reform

What are your hobbies and outside interests?
Listening to rock-n-roll music, swimming, sports.

What is the single best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?
It is important to have thick skin if you want to be an innovator.

What is your favorite quote?
"There are a lot of facets to this case, a lot of ins and outs..."—The Big Lebowski

What is the question most commonly asked by your readers? What is the answer?
So, what does history tell us about what's going on in Washington these days? The answer really depends on the day.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I wanted to learn more about the inside of power in Washington D.C., really start to understand how the institutions worked and who were the people who we didn't see as much in the media or in the history books who really shaped public policy in the 1960s and 1970s. That is how I decided to focus on Congressman Wilbur Mills.

Where do you write?
House and office.



Jimmy Carter

The American Presidents

Julian E. Zelizer; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and Sean Wilentz, General Editors

The maverick politician from Georgia who rode the post- Watergate wave into office but whose term was consumed by economic and international crises A peanut farmer from Georgia,...