Alexander Keyssar, the Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, received the Albert J. Beveridge Award at the 116th annual meeting of the American Historical Association (AHA) on Jan. 4 in San Francisco.
Lynn Hunt, president-elect of the AHA, announced that Keyssar received the award for “The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States” (Basic Books, 2000).
Established in1928, the award is named in memory of Sen. Beveridge of Indiana, and is given annually for the best English-language book on American history, including Canada and Latin America, from 1492 to the present.
Keyssar’s “The Right to Vote” draws on a meticulous reconstruction of state voting requirements spanning over two centuries. The book details the shaping of suffrage requirements by the politics of class, as well as the more familiar stories of the enfranchisement of African Americans and women.
Keyssar obtained both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Harvard University, finishing his Ph.D. in 1977.
His research focuses on American history, with particular interest in public policies.
His previous works include “Out of Work: The First Century of Unemployment in Massachusetts” (1986) and “Melville’s Israel Potter: Reflections on the American Dream” (1969), as well as numerous articles.