political history

  • Why Can't the Democrats Build a Governing Majority? (Review of Timothy Shenk)

    by Kim Phillips-Fein

    In an implicit response to Richard Hofstadter's finding of the continuity of a narrow "American Political Tradition," Timothy Shenk examines the ways that activists have occasionally disrupted the political order and convinced people to "take a leap into an unknown future."

  • Why do Republicans Keep Calling it the "Democrat Party"?

    by Lawrence B. Glickman

    The odd rhetorical device isn't just trolling—it reflects 70 years of the Republican Party seeking to define itself against the opposition even as terms like "liberal" and "conservatism" had not yet taken on stable meaning. 

  • Edward Larson Speaks to the New History Wars

    by Jon Meacham

    "To me, Larson’s unemotional account of the Republic’s beginnings confirms a tragic truth: that influential white Americans knew — and understood — that slavery was wrong and liberty was precious, but chose not to act according to that knowledge and that understanding."

  • Anastasia Curwood on New Shirley Chisholm Bio

    By framing Chisholm as a person with a life history, Curwood elevates knowledge of the New York congresswoman from a "first major party candidate" to a political theorist and visionary. 

  • New Anthology Mistakes the Roots of the Problem as "Misinformation" Rather than Power

    by Paul M. Renfro and Matthew E. Stanley

    The new "Myth America" offers insight into some recurrent myths about history from some excellent scholars, but it hews too closely to the idea that historical lies are a Trumpian phenomenon, rather than a broader aspect of the pursuit and consolidation of power for MAGA and New Democrats alike. 

  • Ted Kennedy Bios Show Liberalism's Trials, and its Necessity

    by David Masciotra

    As liberalism is under attack from the right and from a growing left, the author argues that recent biographies of Ted Kennedy illustrate the imperfections and trials of the idea, but show it's still the best option for organizing a free and fair society.

  • Albion Tourgée's Forgotten Proposal for Power to the People

    by Brook Thomas

    The Black Republican activist hoped to draft a Reconstruction constitution for North Carolina that vested power in the people, which might have prevented the potential mischief that could be unleashed by Supreme Court cases that threaten to empower state legislatures to thwart democracy. 

  • Why Can't the US Press Name the Bad Faith in Evangelical Politics?

    by John Stoehr

    Head-scratching accounts of "conflicted" evangelicals voting again and again for manifestly ungodly candidates would vanish if the media consulted (or hired) ex-evangelicals, who would explain the movement seeks power, not piety. 

  • How the "Third Way" Made Neoliberal Politics Seem Inevitable

    by Lily Geismer

    The Third Way never presented a coherent case for what it stood for or how it might balance the roles of the market and the state. But it led to a generational reworking of the role if government and a sidelining of mass political movements. 

  • Will Gen Z Realize the Dormant Promise of the Youth Vote?

    by Alison Gash and Daniel J. Tichenor

    Gen Z appears to be connecting the dots between their political demands on climate, gun control, and education, among other issues, and the need to mobilize voters to compel attention from elected officials. 

  • The GOP Once Supported the Youth Vote

    by Jennifer Frost

    Once Republicans championed opening the franchise to 18 year-olds. Today, it seems the party is unwilling to win those votes and would prefer to restrict them. 

  • Are Elite Conservatives Getting Too Weird to Win?

    by Graham Gallagher

    The right's move toward European nationalism, conservative Catholicism, and other departures from domestic conservative tradition are troubling to scholars of reactionary politics. But they might just seem weird to voters.