Andrew Burstein is the Charles P. Manship Professor of History at Louisiana State University. His latest book, published in 2015, is “Democracy's Muse,” about how Thomas Jefferson's life and legacy have been used for partisan purposes. Other titles include a cultural history of Americans' literal dreams, “Lincoln Dreamt He Died: The Midnight Visions of Remarkable Americans from Colonial Times to Freud” (2013); a complete biography of literary icon Washington Irving, “The Original Knickerbocker” (2007); “Jefferson's Secrets” (2005); and a critical examination of the seventh president, “The Passions of Andrew Jackson” (2003).
Best known as a Jefferson scholar, Professor Burstein has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at LSU since 2008, after eight years at the University of Tulsa and four at the University of Northern Iowa.
With his partner, Nancy Isenberg, Professor Burstein has coauthored the acclaimed dual biography “Madison and Jefferson” (2010), the first full-length study in more than a half-century of the two founding era presidents whose friendship did so much to shape American political history. Burstein and Isenberg also coauthor regular pieces on Salon.com dealing with contemporary political culture viewed in the context of earlier American history.
As a professional historian, Andrew Burstein has worked as a consultant to documentary films that include the Ken Burns production "Thomas Jefferson," which first aired on PBS in 1997. He has been featured on C-SPAN on many occasions, from the American Presidents Series, broadcasting from Monticello in 1999, to the 200th anniversary symposium marking the invasion of Washington, D.C. during the War of 1812, broadcast from Decatur House, across from the White House, in 2014.
Educated at Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York, he received a B.A. in Oriental Studies from Columbia University; and an M.A. from the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan. For fifteen years he took part in the China trade, initially working for a Wall Street import firm, later as an independent consultant on behalf of U.S. entrepreneurs wishing to establish relationships with Chinese factories. After 1990, he traded modern China for Revolutionary America, earning a Ph. D. in History from the University of Virginia.