Alan Draper grew up and went to school in New York City where he wasted his youth playing school yard basketball. He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he majored in both history and political science and then returned to New York to get his Ph. D. in political science at Columbia University.
His published work includes A Rope of Sand (Praeger,1989) and Conflict of Interest (Cornell University Press, 1994). He is also a co-author of two textbooks, The Politics of Power: A Critical Introduction to American Government with Ira Katznelson and Mark Kesselman which is in its 6th edition (2011) and The Good Society: An Introduction to Comparative Politics which comes out in its second edition in 2011.
He is on the Editorial Board of Labor History and was appointed a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the University of Innsbruck for Spring 2011. Back surgery has forced him to trade in his hightop cons for the daily racing form, and he now gets as much satisfaction at picking a good exacta as he once did at driving into the paint and laying it in.