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Thomas E. Patterson

John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

Areas of expertise

  • Civic Engagement
  • Communications
  • Democracy
  • Elections
  • Media
  • Politics
  • Political Campaigns
  • Presidency
  • Press
  • Public Opinion/Polling
  • US Government/Politics
  • Volunteerism
  • Voting

Major works

Informing the News, which makes the case for knowledge-based journalism; The Vanishing Voter, which examines the causes and consequences of electoral participation; Out of Order, which looks at journalists’ role in presidential elections and received the American Political Science Association’s Graber Award as the decade’s best book in political communication; The Mass Media Election, which won a Choice Award and looks at the media’s impact on primary and general elections; The Unseeing Eye, which was one of the first studies of television’s impact on election campaigns and was named by the American Association of Public Opinion Research as one of 50 most influential books of the past half century in public opinion.

About Me

Thomas E. Patterson is Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is author of the book Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism, published in October 2013. His earlier book, The Vanishing Voter, looks at the causes and consequences of electoral participation, and his book on the media’s political role, Out of Order, received the American Political Science Association’s Graber Award as the best book of the decade in political communication. His first book, The Unseeing Eye, was named by the American Association for Public Opinion Research as one of the 50 most influential books on public opinion in the past half century. He is also the author of the award winning Mass Media Election (1980), and a general American government text, We the People, now in the 11th edition. His articles have appeared in Political Communication, Journal of Communication, and other academic journals, as well as in the popular press. His research has been funded by the Ford, Markle, Smith-Richardson, Pew, Knight, Carnegie, and National Science foundations. Patterson received his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1971.

Courses and Programs taught by Thomas E. Patterson

HarvardX

U.S. Government

XSeries
4 courses