Area of Expertise
Immigration, disease and public health issues, Holocaust, U.S. social and political history of the 19th & 20th centuries, ethnic history, Civil War, the American South, history of American medicine, American Jewish history, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island
Alan Kraut specializes in the history of immigration, and refugees and public health policy, including AIDS. He focuses on the effects of race, religion, and ethnicity upon American society and culture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He is the author or editor of nine books. His book Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the 'Immigrant Menace' received the Immigration and Ethnic History Society's Theodore Saloutos Prize. Other books include The Huddled Masses: The Immigrant in American Society, 1880–1921(2nd expanded edition, 2001); American Refugee and European Jewry, 1933–1945; and American Immigration and Ethnicity: A Reader. Kraut's book Goldberger's War: The Life and Work of a Public Health Crusader won the Henry Adams Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government, the Arthur J. Viseltear Prize from the Public Health Association, and the Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Prize from the History of Science Society. He and his wife, Deborah, published Covenant of Care: Newark Beth Israel and the Jewish Hospital in America(2007). Kraut was a consultant for the Office of Homeland Security on the revision of the history and civics part of the Naturalization Examination and was an expert witness in the Supreme Court case New Jersey v. New York. He is chair of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation's History Advisory Committee and was president of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, the largest academic organization of immigration scholars in the United States. He was on the National Research Council's Committee on the Health and Adjustment of Immigrant Children and Families. A frequent historical consultant to museums and media, Kraut is a consultant to New York's Lower East Side Tenement Museum and PBS television documentaries. In 2009, he was elected a fellow of the highly prestigious Society of American Historians. Kraut is a nonresident fellow of the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think-tank on immigration and refugee policy. In 2013-2014 he was president of the Organization of American Historians, the largest organization of those who study the American past. He is currently the President of the National History Coalition, the lobbying organization for the history profession in the United States. He has taught and lectured on immigration and health issues in China in 2013 and most recently in Poland, as a guest of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences.