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Joshua Zeitz

Joshua Zeitz is a historian and the author most recently of Lincoln Boys, a biography of the President's two closest aides and their many accomplishments after the Civil War, including efforts to document Lincoln's achievements. "Zeitz has pulled off a difficult task -- revealing how the myth of Lincoln came to be without distorting the true greatness of our extraordinary 16th President," said filmmaker Ken Burns about the book.

Previously, Zeitz  wrote several other books including Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern, and White Ethnic New York: Jews, Catholics, and the Shaping of Postwar Politics.

In addition to writing frequently for American Heritage, Zeitz has published articles in the New York TimesWashington PostLos Angeles TimesThe New RepublicThe Atlantic, and Dissent. He appeared as a commentator on two PBS documentaries – Boomer Century, and Ken Burns' Prohibition — and has commented on public policy matters on CNBC and CNN International.

After earning his Ph.D. in American History from Brown University, Zeitz lectured at Harvard University, Cambridge University, and Rutgers University. And in 2008 he was candidate for New Jersey's 4th District in the House of Representatives.

Articles by this Author

The Senate convened twenty years ago to determine whether President Bill Clinton had committed "high crimes and misdemeanors"
Lincoln's Boys, Spring 2018 | Vol. 63, No. 1
John Nicolay and John Hay were Lincoln’s two closest aides in the White House, and helped to craft the image of the President we have today.
Viewing a transformation that still affects all of us—through the prism of a single year
Boomer Century, October 2005 | Vol. 56, No. 5
What’s going to happen when the most prosperous, best-educated generation in history finally grows up? (And just how special are the baby boomers?)
The Republican party ensured a landslide defeat when it nominated Barry Goldwater in 1964, but the Democrats did far more lasting damage to themselves at their convention that year. In fact, they still haven’t recovered.
Why the UN was in trouble from the start
The old Confederacy got only as far north as Pennsylvania, but its great-grandchildren have captured America’s culture. Joshua Zeitz looks at sports, entertainment, and religion to show how.
Facing a nearly invisible enemy, we all may be subjected to new kinds of government scrutiny. But past wars suggest the final result may be greater freedom.
For the first time in a generation, student activism is on the rise. Do these new protesters have anything like the zeal, the conviction, and the clout of their famous 1960s predecessors?


King meets with President Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House, 1966. (LBJ LIBRARY/PHOTO BY YOICHI R. OKAMOTO) Monday marks the seventy-eighth birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights hero who was gunned down in Memphis in April 1968 at the age of 39. Since King’s death,…
This is not a hands-in-the-cookie-jar scandal like Teapot Dome, which sent an attorney general to jail. It is not a serious breach-of-national-security scandal like the Pumpkin Papers, which sent Alger Hiss to jail. It is not an old fashioned corruption scandal like the vicuna coat affair that cost…
A few days ago, I wrote that the federal government’s meltdown in the wake of Hurricane Katrina might, in the long run, lend the Republican party a boost. In response to this argument, my colleague John Steele Gordon wrote the following: “Mr. Zeitz notes that the Watergate scandal of the Nixon era—…
In the wake of the federal government’s failure to quickly address the crisis wrought by Hurricane Katrina, and amid a growing sense among some that the Bush administration’s policies in Iraq and at home have become mired in bureaucratic corruption and legislative gridlock, some liberal pundits…
That I disagree with John Steele Gordon is not evidence that I can’t check “partisanship at the door and search for truth, not political advantage.” It’s merely evidence that I disagree with John Steele Gordon. What I find more interesting in our exchange, for our purposes as a history Web site, is…