Dean Grodzins

Historian, Teacher, Editor, Cartoonist

DEAN GRODZINS is a Senior Researcher at the Harvard Business School, where he works with Professor David Moss on the Case Method Project, which aims to transform and improve the teaching of American democracy in U.S. high schools, and a Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Historical Society, where he is writing on the fugitive slave crisis in Boston (1850-64). Dean has published widely on American history, including the prize-winning biography American Heretic: Theodore Parker and Transcendentalism (University of North Carolina Press, 2002), and he is first author of five of the case studies, and co-author of two others, in Moss, Democracy: A Case Study (Harvard Belknap, 2017). He received a Ph.D. from Harvard and has served as a lecturer on history and literature at Harvard and as Associate Professor of History at Meadville Lombard Theological School. He frequently delivers public presentations on American history and has extensive experience as an academic editor. He also drew a comic strip for twenty years. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife and daughter.

Selected essays and articles by Dean are available for download at See also the link to Selected Works, above. For a good article on the High School Case Method project, see Christine Gross Loh, "A Better Way to Teach History," Atlantic, February 8, 2016.

Democracy should command the attention of teachers and students of all ages… Moss’s case studies are engagingly written, well researched, rich in content and context… Moss believes that fierce political conflicts can be constructive if they are mediated by shared ideals. He seems to demonstrate, moreover, that in a world in which ‘alternative facts’ are gaining traction, an informed understanding of the past can help us identify pathways to a prosperous and just democracy.”—Glenn C. Altschuler, The Huffington Post

“This set of well-documented, accessible essays presents the prickly challenges facing the rapidly changing American democracy, for lawmakers and citizens alike… A sterling educational tool that offers a fresh presentation of how ‘democracy in America has always been a contact sport.’”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“It’s hard to imagine a timelier book, given America’s tumultous 2016 elections, than this eminently readable survey of political disputes.”—Publishers Weekly

“This absolutely splendid book is a triumph on every level. A first-rate history of the United States, it is beautifully written, deeply researched, and filled with entertaining stories. For anyone who wants to see our democracy flourish, this is the book to read.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin