An accomplished author and speaker when he was still in his 20s, Alan Pell Crawford “was either endowed with a special gift of prescience or generously favored by the political gods,” according to the late James Wechsler, writing in the New York Post.
Crawford’s first book, published by Pantheon when he was only 26, was Thunder on the Right: The ‘New Right’ and the Politics of Resentment, described by Godfrey Hodson in The New Republic as “a notable work of intellectual and political history.”
According to The Economist: “The analysis is acute, the documentation precise, the range of information wide. Nobody who wants a guide to the lunacies of the American right….could ask for a better one than Mr. Crawford’s.”
“Mr. Crawford has rendered a significant, spirited contribution to our understanding of the tensions of a new political era,” Wechsler wrote.
Crawford’s second book, Unwise Passions: A True Story of a Remarkable Woman and the First Great Scandal of Eighteenth-Century America, published in November 2000 by Simon & Schuster, was called by the Wall Street Journal “an unbeatable tale, which Alan Pell Crawford relates in [a] delightful book…We think of the Founders as men of marble, but they knew that human hearts (including their own) could be dark and tempestuous. That is why they built their political systems with such care. Unwise Passions is the black velvet backdrop to an introductory course in political philosophy.”
“Imagine Gone With the Wind if Eugene O’Neill had written it, add a spoonful to Alexis de Tocqueville, a suspicion of incest and murder, many great names and reversals of fortune, and you have this love-hate-mystery tale of political history.”—Weekly Standard
The Washington Post called Unwise Passions “an engaging work of popular history. We are indebted to Alan Pell Crawford for rescuing [Nancy Randolph] from undeserved oblivion.”
A former U.S. Senate speechwriter, congressional press secretary and magazine editor, Crawford has published essays on politics and history in The New York Times, The Independent of London, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Vogue, The Nation, National Review and The Weekly Standard. He has reviewed books on U.S. history for The Wall Street Journal since 1994.
He has spoken to conferences, conventions and historical societies across the country.
A former resident of Washington, DC, he lives in Richmond, Virginia, with his wife Sally Curran, an editor at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and their two sons, Ned and Tim.