Zelizer Awarded New-York Historical Society Fellowship

March 21, 2022

Julian Zelizer will spend next year at the New-York Historical Society, as the Lapidus-Weisberg Fellow in American History, beginning September 2022. During his fellowship, he will work on writing “The Compromise”: The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the Betrayal of Racial Justice, 1964, which is under contract with Norton.

The book examines the clash that took place at the 1964 Democratic National Convention between the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party—68 sharecroppers, farmers, undertakers, mechanics, beauticians, preachers, and manual workers who had been fighting for voting rights in their home state—and President Lyndon Johnson. The MFDP demanded that they be seated at the convention instead of the all-white delegation whose power rested on voting disenfranchisement. While sympathetic to their cause, Johnson, who was still celebrating the passage of the Civil Rights Act, feared triggering a revolt of the southern base of his party which would stifle his ability to pursue further civil rights legislation in the coming year. Based on original archival research, The Compromise will contribute to a burgeoning literature about race relations that explores the radical challenge that the civil rights movement has posed by taking on the elaborate system of racial inequality that was deeply inscribed into the institutions of American democracy.