Robert J. Allison is a professor of history at Suffolk University.
He chairs Revolution 250, a consortium of more than 60 historical organizations in New England planning commemorations of the American Revolution’s 250th anniversary. He is also the president of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, a Life Trustee of the USS CONSTITUTION Museum, a Fellow of the American Antiquarian Society and the Massachusetts Historical Society, and an honorary member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Society of the Cincinnati.
In addition to Stephen Decatur, American Naval Hero (2004) his books include A Very Short Introduction to the American Revolution (2015), A Short History of Cape Cod (2011), A Short History of Boston (2004), and The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim World 1776-1815 (2000). . He also produced “Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies” (2009) for The Teaching Company’s “Great Courses,” and “The Age of Benjamin Franklin” (2018). With Bernard Bailyn he edited The Essential Debate on the Constitution: Federalist and Antifederalist Speeches and Writings (2019) and he edited The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African (3rd edition, 2016) as well as other books on American history.
He earned his doctorate at Harvard (History of American Civilization) and his undergraduate degree at the Harvard Extension School, where he has taught since 1993. He earned the Petra Shattuck Distinguished Teaching Award at the Extension School in 1996, and has three times received the Suffolk Student Government Association Distinguished Teaching Award, and once received the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Service at Suffolk.
He and his wife live in East Boston; their oldest son is a 2013 Suffolk alum, their younger son is in the U.S. Coast Guard.