John R. Reitemeyer Professor of Political Science

Kevin J. McMahon is the John R. Reitemeyer Professor of Political Science. In April 2024, the University of Chicago Press published his third book, A Supreme Court Unlike Any Other: The Deepening Divide Between the Justices and the People. In 2014, the Supreme Court Historical Society selected his second book, Nixon’s Court: His Challenge to Judicial Liberalism and Its Political Consequences (Chicago, 2011), for its rarely-awarded Erwin N. Griswold Book Prize. Upon receiving the award, Professor McMahon delivered a lecture on the book in the courtroom of the United States Supreme Court. Nixon’s Court was also selected as a 2012 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. Professor McMahon’s first book, Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race: How the Presidency Paved the Road to Brown (Chicago, 2004), won the American Political Science Association’s Richard E. Neustadt Award for the best book published that year on the American presidency. He is also the co-author/co-editor of three books on the presidency and presidential elections and the author or co-author of many book chapters and journal articles.

Professor McMahon earned his PhD at Brandeis University in 1997. As an advanced graduate student, he taught for two years in Russia with the Civic Education Project (a.k.a., the “academic Peace Corps”), first in Yekaterinburg and then in Krasnodar. In 2006, he was a Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair at the University of Montreal. In 2023, he received the Trustee Award for Faculty Excellence. In the classroom, his teaching style is Socratic in spirit, driven by a philosophy that students perform best when they are asked to actively participate in their own learning.