Alan M. Kraut is Professor of History at American University in Washington, D.C. He received his B.A. from Hunter College of the City University of New York (1968) and his M.A. (1971) and Ph.D. (1975) from Cornell University. In 1995, he was Visiting Professor in the History of Science at Harvard University. He is a specialist in U.S. immigration and ethnic history, the history of medicine in the United States, and nineteenth century U.S. social history. He is the author or editor of seven books and over a hundred articles and book reviews. His books include, The Huddled Masses: The Immigrant in American Society, 1880-1921 (1982; rev. 2001), an edited volume, Crusaders and Compromisers: Essays on the Relationship of the Antislavery Struggle to the Antebellum Party System(1983), American Refugee Policy and European Jewry, 1933-1945 (co-authored), and Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the “Immigrant Menace” (1994). The latter volume won several national awards, including the Theodore Saloutos Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and the Phi Alpha Theta Award for the Best Book in History by an established author. His 2003 volume, Goldberger’s War: The Life and Work of a Public Health Crusader, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, is a biography of U.S. Public Health Service physician Dr. Joseph Goldberger and his investigation of pellagra in the early twentieth century South. It has been honored with the Henry Adams Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government, the Arthur J. Viseltear Prize from the American Public Health Association, and the Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Prize from the History of Science Society. A co-edited volume with David Gerber, American Immigration and Ethnicity: A Reader, was published in October, 2005 by Palgrave-St. Martin’s.Most recently, Kraut published Covenant of Care: Newark Beth Israel and the Jewish Hospital in America (co-authored with his wife, Deborah), a study of the trajectory of an ethnic healthcare institution in the twentieth century. It was published in January, 2007.
Kraut’s scholarly projects have been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Philosophical Society, the National Institutes of Health and the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey.
Active in bringing history to a broader, non-academic audience, Dr. Kraut has served as a member of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island History Committee since the 1980s and in 2003 was appointed chair of that committee by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. He has also served as a consultant to the National Park Service, and as an adviser to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. He has been an historical consultant on documentaries treating issues in immigration history and the history of medicine and public health broadcast on the Public Broadcasting Station and the History Channel. He is currently an advisor to the PBS program, History Detectives.
Dr. Kraut is the recent past president of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, the largest organization of immigration scholars in the country. He also sits on the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society. He serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of American Ethnic History and The Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies. In spring, 1999 he was named American University’s Scholar/Teacher of the Year, the institution’s highest academic honor.