Sean Wilentz

Robert Sean Wilentz ( born February 20, 1951 in New York ) is an American historian. He teaches American history at Princeton University. In public discourse, he is by his numerous contributions to magazines such as Newsweek, The New Republic and Rolling Stone one of the most present historians and often takes days for the policy position.


Wilentz studied at Columbia University (BA 1972), Oxford University (BA 1974) and Yale University ( Ph.D. 1980). In 1984 his first book, Chants Democratic, which in the first half of the 19th century and its role in the social and political movements of the time, the growing strength of the working class in New York for the object. The work won the Beveridge Award of the American Historical Association. In numerous other publications Wilentz has tried to show, have contributed as mass movements for democratization of American society. An overview of this subject he gave in 2005 in his more than 1,000 -page book, The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln, which won the Bancroft Prize. Wilentz is in the tradition of liberal " consensus " historians like Arthur Schlesinger and follows this in its emphasis on the egalitarian political movements during the presidencies of Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) and Andrew Jackson ( 1828-1836 ).

In his numerous newspaper and blog articles Wilentz has often taken a position also to the current policy with the most championed positions of the Democratic Party. Special attention was an article that the Rolling Stone printed in April 2006 as the cover story. Wilentz, is recognized as " one of the leading historians of the country", named in George W. Bush as the worst president in American history. Wilentz is particularly close to the Clinton family. So he said in 1998 in the House Judiciary Committee during the hearings to the impeachment of Bill Clinton in his favor from. In 2008, he turned out to be advocates Hillary Clinton in the inner-party struggle for the presidential nomination, and railed in, among other articles in Newsweek and the Huffington Post, the campaign against their opponent Barack Obama.

In addition, Wilentz is known for his music journalism work on Bob Dylan, 2003, he was nominated for a Grammy for it.


  • Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788-1850. Oxford University Press, New York 1984. ISBN 0195033426
  • With Michael Merrill: The Key of Liberty: The Life and Democratic Writings of William Manning, "A Laborer, " 1747-1814. Harvard University Press, Cambridge 1993. ISBN 0674502884
  • By Paul E. Johnson: The Kingdom of Matthias. Oxford University Press, New York 1994. ISBN 0195038274
  • Andrew Jackson. Henry Holt, New York, 2005. ISBN 0805069259
  • The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln. Norton, New York, 2005. ISBN 0393058204
  • The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008. Harper Collins, New York, 2008. ISBN 0805069259
  • Bob Dylan in America. Doubleday, New York, 2010. ISBN 0385529880

Essays, newspaper articles, etc. (selection)

  • The Worst President in History? Article in Rolling Stone, April 2006.