Robert J. Allison




Robert J. Allison has taught American history at Suffolk University in Boston since 1992, when he earned his doctorate in the History of American Civilization at Harvard. He currently chairs Suffolk’s History Department, and also teaches history at the Harvard Extension School.

His books include The American Revolution: A Concise History (2011); The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim World, 1776–1815 (2000); A Short History of Boston (2004) and A Short History of Cape Cod (2010); Stephen Decatur, American Naval Hero (2005); The Boston Massacre (2006); and The Boston Tea Party (2007).

He also produced “Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies” for The Teaching Company’s Great Courses (2009). His edited books span American history from the colonial period to the 20th century, and he currently hosts a free, online course on the U.S. Constitution ( Professor Allison received the Petra Shattuck Distinguished Teaching Award from the Harvard Extension School in 1997, the Suffolk University Student Government Association's Distinguished Faculty Award in 2006, and the Suffolk University Outstanding Faculty Award in 2007 and 2010.

Professor Allison was a consultant to the Commonwealth Museum at the State Archives in Boston, and he is on the board of trustees of the USS Constitution Museum in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He is president of the South Boston Historical Society, vice president of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

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The course explores Boston from the 1600’s to the present day. Learn about the Massachusett Indians who lived on the land we now know as Boston before the Puritans arrived. Discover how these settlers created a system of self government so strong that Boston became the most democratic community on the planet and the birthplace of the Revolutionary War. Trace the city’s role in the American anti-slavery movement and the Civil War.

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