Alan Draper grew up in New York, graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and then went on to receive his M.A. and Ph. D. in Political Science from Columbia University. His work covered American political development, labor history, welfare policy, and civil rights history.
He has published op-eds in the New York Times, USA Today, and other newspapers; was awarded a Distinguished Fulbright Professor at the University of Innsbruck in Austria (2011) and appointed a Fulbright Research Scholar at the University of Coimbra in Portugal (2019); co-authored The Politics of Power: A Critical Introduction to American Politics with Ira Katznelson and Mark Kesselman, and The Good Society: An Introduction to Comparative Politics with Ansil Ramsay; and authored A Rope of Sand: The AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education, 1955-1968 (Praeger, 1989), and Conflict of Interests: Organized Labor and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1968 (Cornell University Press, 1994), which was voted an Outstanding Book on Human Rights by the Gustavus Myers Center (1997).
His most recent published work includes: “Class and Politics in the Mississippi Movement,” Journal of Southern History (May, 2016); “The Historiographies of the Labor and Civil Rights Movement: At the Intersection of Parallel Lines,” in Reconsidering Southern Labor History: Class, Race, and Power (University of Florida Press, 2018); and “Organized Labor and the Civil Rights Movement,” in The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History (Oxford University Press, 2018). He is currently working on a biography of Bob Moses.
He was appointed the Michael R. Ranger Chair of Government in 2016 and taught at St. Lawrence University from 1983 to 2022. He is currently an Emeritus Professor and resides in Saratoga Springs, NY.