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Few academic disciplines have recorded their own origins and development in an organized way. The American Political Science Association, in cooperation with Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society, and the University of Kentucky, have undertaken an extensive oral history project, the aim of which is to trace and record the growth of the discipline. The program has made it possible to amass hours of interviews with women and men who have influenced the study of political science.

Political Science in America contains interviews with fifteen major figures who speak frankly about the intellectual and institutional roots of political science and trace its evolution. Through their words, we learn what it was like to be a part of the earliest Ph.D. programs and to work with early leaders.

We discover how these leaders became interested in political science, what roles they played in building departments and research organizations, and what they learned from participation in government and politics. They discuss their own contributions and offer opinions on some of the major conflicts that have divided the discipline. Particularly enlightening are their varied perspectives on the growth of the behavioral movement in political science over the past fifty years. This book is of interest to all political scientists as a historical perspective on their discipline.

Michael A. Baer is professor of political science and provost of Northeastern University.

Malcolm E. Jewell is professor of political science at the University of Kentucky and director of the political science oral history program.

Lee Sigelman is professor of political science and dean of the faculty of social and behavioral sciences at the University of Arizona.

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Political scientists, History of political science


American Politics

Political Science in America: Oral Histories of a Discipline
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