political history

  • Understanding the Leading Thinkers of the New American Right

    by Charles King

    The framework of integralist thought championed by Adrian Vermeule, Patrick Deneen and others argues for a view of the common good to supplant liberal individual rights as the core of a constitutional order. They claim to connect to intellectual traditions centuries old, but their claims of moral decline echo those of early 20th century eugenicists and nativists. 

  • Ron DeSantis's Book on the Founders has been Disappearing Online. We Found a Copy

    by Gillian Brockell

    Written during his days as a Tea Party Congressman, DeSantis's 2011 book cherry-picks quotes from the Washington and Hamilton to argue that Barack Obama was engaged in an unconstitutional power grab that would have appalled the founders. It also makes bad arguments about the centrality of slavery to the early Republic. 

  • Two New Books Take the 1990s as a Pivotal Decade

    by Henry M.J. Tonks

    Books by Lily Geismer and Nicole Hemmer look at the changes that took place within the Democratic and Republican parties (respectively) during a decade that was supposed to be the end of history. 

  • The Feinstein Situation Shows the Senate Dems Have No Plan

    by Norman Ornstein

    After 9/11, a joint committee formed by two prominent think tanks studied how the Senate could deal with large-scale incapacitation of Senators through temporary replacements. The COVID pandemic and the aging of the Senators make those recommendations, still unfulfilled, more urgent than ever. 

  • The Long, Sordid History of Expelling Black Lawmakers

    by David A. Love

    Throughout the reconstruction era (and after) Black lawmakers faced challenges to their legitimacy by proponents of antidemocratic rule by a white elite. 

  • Review: Will Bunch on the College-No College Divide

    by Johann N. Neem

    A new book argues that making higher education a public good is part of the solution to overcoming the growing split between degreed and undegreed Americans. But is it sufficient to overcome the political expediency of culture-war divisions? 

  • Could One Party Dominate America Again?

    by Michael Kazin

    A party that can offer a compelling explanation for a crisis and move the government to an effective response has a chance to cement its dominance. It's not clear that one will. 

  • 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.