Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson

Professor of Political Science

Michael Nelson is the Fulmer Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College, a Senior Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, and Senior Contributing Editor and Book Editor of the Cook Political Report

In 2015, the American Political Science Association gave Nelson the Richard E. Neustadt Award for the Outstanding book on the Presidency and Executive Politics published during the previous year for Resilient America: Electing Nixon in 1968, Channeling Dissent, and Dividing Government. He and his former student and colleague, John Lyman Mason, won the Southern Political Science Association’s 2009 V.O. Key Award for Outstanding Book on Southern Politics for How the South Joined the Gambling Nation: The Politics of State Policy Innovation.

According to a Hauenstein Center survey of college courses on the American presidency, two of Nelson’s books on the presidency rank among the top five most frequently studied: The Presidency and the Political System (first) and The American Presidency: Origins and Development, 1776-2015, with Sidney M. Milkis (fifth).         

As coeditor and coauthor with Miller Center colleagues, Nelson has recently published Cornell University Press books on two of the presidents studied in the Presidential Leadership Scholars program: 41: Inside the George H.W. Bush Presidency with Barbara A. Perry and (forthcoming in June) 42: Inside the Bill Clinton Presidency with Perry and Russell L. Riley.

In addition to his work on the presidency, Nelson also has published lengthy articles about Frank Sinatra, Garrison Keillor, C. S. Lewis, Charles Dickens, the military academies, the Iliad, the Odyssey and Aeneid, liberal education, baseball, football, and music.  

Prof. Nelson′s Vitae

Claremont Summer 2010 

Claremont Summer 2011

Claremont Winter 2011-2012

Claremont Winter 2012-2013

Claremont Summer 2014



How the South Joined the Gambling Nation: The Politics of State Policy Innovation (2008)

The American Presidency: Origins and Development, 1776-2007 (2008)

The Presidency and the Political System, 9th ed. (2009)

The Elections of 2008 (2009).


M.A. and Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
B.A., College of William and Mary