Adam Smith

Adam Smith is the Edward Orsborn Professor of United States Politics & Political History and a Professorial Fellow at University College and Director of the RAI.

Between 2002 and 2019 he taught at University College London (UCL). He was a student at Oxford, Sheffield, Cambridge and Harvard. Adam regularly presents documentaries — mainly on BBC Radio 4 — and  writes for various magazines and websites. (You can read some recent articles here.)

His specialism is the political history of the United States in the nineteenth century. In 2017, the University of North Carolina Press published his latest book, The Stormy Present: Conservatism and the Problem of Slavery in Northern Politics, 1846-1865, which won the Jefferson Davis Award and was a finalist for the Lincoln Prize. His previous books include No Party Now: Politics in the Civil War North (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006). You can read more about Adam’s books here.

Adam takes a close interest in education policy and especially university admissions and school history teaching. He is former Honorary Secretary of the Royal Historical Society, which represents scholarly historians in the UK. In 2019 he joined the a board of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission, which awards scholarships to US students wishing to study in the UK.

Adam was born in the Northeast of England and went to Durham Johnston Comprehensive School. He now lives in Oxford with his wife and three daughters.

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