Robert sean Wilentz was born in 1951 in New York City. He earned his first B.A. from Colunbia University in 1972 and his second from Oxford University in 1974 on a Kellett Fellowship. He continued his education at Yale University where he earned his M.A. degree in 1975 and his PhD. in 1980. His writings are focused on the importance of class and race in the early national period. He has also co-authored books on nineteenth-century religion and working class life. His book The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln, won the Bancroft Prize. He has also written about modern U.S. history in his book, The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008. He has been the Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor of History at Princeton University since 1979. Robert Wilentz is also a contributing editor at The New Republic. He writes on music, the arts, history and politics. He received a Grammy nomination and a 2005 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for musical commentary on the musician Bob Dylan.