The New America Fellows Program supports talented journalists, academics and other public policy analysts who offer a fresh and often unpredictable perspective on the major challenges facing our society.

Apply to be a 2016 New America Fellow

Fellows

The New America Fellows Program awards fellowships to original thinkers eager to advance a better understanding of policy challenges facing our society.

Books

All Books

Recent Content

in the news | April 22, 2015 | Fellows

Could John Hinckley - the man who shot Ronald Reagan - be released?

"There was a lot of shock, there was anger," recalled Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University. "Reagan himself talked about how the law was too easy on criminals and this played right into that. There were many people who were skeptical that insanity was a legitimate defense after an assassination attempt on the American president...I think the popular assumption is if you try to assassinate the president - and actually shoot the president - you're gonna be in jail for life."

Recent Content

in the news | April 19, 2015 | Fellows

Biggest campaign mistakes thus far

Although the campaign has barely begun, most of the candidates -- and some probable candidates -- are already starting to make mistakes. Most of the mistakes will simply be blips along the way, but some of them might end up being more damaging if they feed into negative perceptions that voters have about the candidates.

Recent Content

in the news | April 18, 2015 | Fellows

Chris Christie's Comeback Tour Might Have One Catch

Julian Zelizer, a Princeton University professor of history and political science who tracks Christie, said the call for ending Social Security payments to those making $200,000 or more in additional income was certain to hurt his standing with older voters."He's just trying to get back in the game and get some attention—in that respect he got what he wanted," Zelizer said. "But it may not be enough and in the long-run he said some things that could hurt him."

Recent Content

Recent Content

in the news | April 17, 2015 | Fellows

How LBJ's 'Great Society' Came To Be

Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University and the author of The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society (Penguin Press, 2015), discusses the many forces that came together fifty years ago to shape Medicare and Medicaid, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, the War on Poverty and more -- the legislation that President Johnson labeled the "Great Society."

Recent Content

in the news | April 16, 2015 | Fellows

Chris Christie Ally David Samson’s Loyalty May Be Tested as Probe Winds Down

Even as his name is scrubbed from the law firm he co-founded, David Samson’s association with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie can’t be so easily erased. They forged their relationship more than a decade ago as prosecutors targeted by a street gang. When Christie was elected governor in 2009, Samson was transition leader before the Republican appointed him chairman of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the agency that controls the region’s major airports, bridges and tunnels.

Recent Content

in the news | April 15, 2015 | Fellows

Hillary Clinton's other historic hurdle: succeeding Obama as a Democrat

“Some of it is just the changes in the media and the visibility of the presidency that greatly expanded in the 20th century,” said Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. Television and other sources greatly amplified the presence of the president in Americans’ lives, he said, which in turn gave them more material to feel negatively about after eight years. Zelizer also said that in the last two or three decades the partisans for one party or another have become “very rigidified”, meaning every candidate and president faces “huge pockets of opposition even when they’re elected”. Those pockets could hold sway over the next election, he suggested.

Recent Content

in the news | April 15, 2015 | Fellows

GOP rivals unload on Hillary

“For Rubio, there are many contrasts you could draw,” said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. “There is the generational argument: He can make the case that he is the candidate for the 21st century, and that he came of age in the 1980s and 90s, whereas she is from the 1960s. And obviously, there is his immigrant background.”

Recent Content

in the news | April 14, 2015 | Fellows

Why White House needs Congress on Iran deal

The White House insists it doesn't need congressional approval for the Iran nuclear deal announced this month. But while historical precedent suggests the President might indeed have the authority to move forward without Congress, the Obama administration should probably learn another lesson from history: Getting Congress' signature might be worth the effort.

Recent Content

Recent Content

Recent Content

in the news | April 11, 2015 | Fellows

Can Hillary Clinton overcome her weaknesses?

For Democrats, there is ample reason to be excited about Clinton's run for the presidency. She is certainly one of the strongest candidates in many decades. She brings to the table extensive political and policy experience, a combination of skills that is often lacking. She has been through some of the roughest partisan wars and emerged stronger than ever before. She has a keen sense about the nature of the modern news media, how to use it to her advantage and how to survive scandal frenzies. She is a hardened, tough partisan who will not shy away from Republican attack. Americans have many positive memories of Clinton name, given the booming economy of the late 1990s during Bill Clinton's presidency.

Recent Content

in the news | April 11, 2015 | Fellows

Can Hillary Clinton overcome 'politics as usual' to bridge enthusiasm gap?

“She faces the danger that she seems to be politics as usual, which a lot of millennials don’t like – both being part of Washington and a Washington that doesn’t work well,” Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, told the Guardian. “She’s not somebody new; she’s familiar. It’s kind of static: people have heard of her. They think what they think of her.”One significant way for Clinton to overcome such preconceived notions, Zelizer said, would be to sell voters on what her presidency would represent: a historic breakthrough as the first woman to become president of the US.

Recent Content

Recent Content

Recent Content

Recent Content

in the news | April 10, 2015 | Fellows

How Education Policy Went Astray

The correlation between today’s shortcomings in federal education policy and efforts to reduce funding for people in poverty reveals that the country has moved too far away from Johnson’s original vision. Johnson framed the ESEA as a policy designed to divvy up financial resources so that local schools had the money they needed to educate students. The administration, along with the liberals in Congress, also spoke of the education policy as part of a broader package of reforms. All these pieces ideally comprised what Johnson dubbed a "Great Society," where the government would offer a holistic agenda of programs that could reinvigorate entire communities. As they saw it, education was connected to civil rights, urban development, anti-poverty initiatives, and more. Without providing government support for programs that reduced social inequality, they figured, true education reform would never work.

Recent Content

in the news | April 10, 2015 | Fellows

Wall Street Threatens to Pull Campaign Cash on Democrats

Democrats running for President including front runner Hillary Clinton could have a tougher time than ever beating Republicans. That’s because big banks are threatening to stop making much needed campaign contributions to Democrats if they don’t stop attacking Wall Street.Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University Julian Zelizer discusses.

Recent Content

in the news | April 07, 2015 | Fellows

‘Daddy issues’ plague several 2016 GOPers

Zelizer noted that while the American public has feelings of “good will” toward H.W. Bush today, his record isn’t all roses. Many conservatives still haven’t forgiven Bush Classic for breaking his “Read my lips” pledge not to raise taxes. And in today’s anti-tax, tea party-fueled America, that could be the kiss of death for Jeb. The associations with his brother could be even worse. George W. Bush left office with near historically low approval levels, and is still reviled by much of the country.

Recent Content

Recent Content

in the news | April 07, 2015 | Fellows

Rand Paul may not hurt Christie 2016 prospects, but they've fought before

"The main opponents for Christie are Jeb Bush and Scott Walker," said Julian Zelizer, a professor of political history at Princeton University. He called Paul's announcement "a marginal loss in terms of voters" that would shift from Christie to support Paul. Also, Christie and Paul won't likely share the same donor base, Zelizer said. But aside from donor and voter support, there's a third area where Paul's announcement could slightly ding Christie's presidential prospects: media attention. "It's a hit with media," said Zelizer. "(Paul's) trajectory has been upward and Christie's has been stalled at best, and it continues to hurt. Christie is in one of those moments where every nuance chips away." Momentum from media attention is valuable, Zelizer argued, and Christie needs to find a way to get some in what's expected to be a crowed Republican field.

Recent Content

in the news | April 06, 2015 | Fellows

Can Hillary Clinton and Democrats really take on Wall Street?

If Democrats really want to take on Wall Street and tackle economic inequality, they first have to bring about reform of the campaign finance system. If campaigns were publicly funded or there were more stringent limits on independent expenditures, Wall Street would have much more trouble achieving disproportionate influence. Reform could level the playing field. More often than not, campaign finance reform is an issue that gets sidetracked with little more than some pro forma words of support.