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political history



  • April 6, 2021: On the Republican Party

    by Heather Cox Richardson

    Since the time of Lincoln, the Republican Party has been part of a bipartisan understanding that expanding the nation's infrastructure – meaning investing in all sorts of supports to economic and social activity – has been a boon to prosperity. That commitment is fraying today. 



  • The Trump Presidency Is History. They’re Writing the First Draft

    “The challenge with President Trump is understanding the foundational elements of his presidency as deeply rooted in basic features of American history,” Julian Zelizer said, while also noting the places “where the presidency jumped the shark.”



  • The History of Freedom Is a History of Whiteness

    by Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins

    "A conversation with Tyler Stovall about his recent book White Freedom and whether or not the legacy of liberty can break away from racial exclusion and domination."



  • Lessons From All Democracies

    by David Stasavage

    The idea of the "torch" of democracy passing from one historical society to the present blinds us to understanding how popular sovereignty arises and why it's resilient. If we are concerned with protecting democracy, we must first understand it.



  • What Is Happening to the Republican Party?

    by Jelani Cobb

    The historian and New Yorker writer consults a roster of political historians (including Marsha Barrett, Thomas Patterson and Heather Cox Richardson) to ask whether Trumpism has the potential to break the Republican Party as previous factional splits have disrupted prior incarnations of the American party system. 



  • The G.O.P. Isn’t Going to Split Apart Anytime Soon

    by Jamelle Bouie

    The Times columnist checks in with a number of political historians and argues that, while pundits are comparing today's GOP to the Whigs and Federalists, a more vital comparison is to the 19th century Democratic Party, which held on to power through aggressive use of anti-majoritarian institutions. 



  • Pankaj Mishra’s Reckoning With Liberalism’s Bloody Past

    Indian critic Pankaj Mishra argues in a new book of essays that recent liberal concern about right-wing politicians declaring support for "western civilization" ignores the way that liberal colonialists have embraced ideas of cultural supremacy. 



  • The Americans Who Embraced Mussolini

    Katy Hull's book looks to four American fascist sympathizers to conclude that the appeal of fascism reflected anxieties about how the United States could function as a world power and connect communitarian values with national progress. 

  • How Democrats Lost the Great Plains

    by Ross Benes

    Ross Benes argues that the Democratic party has lost an entire political generation of influence in the Great Plains by forfeiting the region's legacy of farmer populism, making the Plains a Republican stronghold and a barrier to progressive legislation. 



  • Can the Republican Party be Saved?

    Geoffrey Kabaservice is the author of "Rule and Ruin," a history of the Republican Party since 1950. He discusses the party's turn toward right-wing radicalism with Vox's Sean Illing. 



  • How Fear Took Over the American Suburbs

    Historian Kyle Riismandel's new book “Neighborhood of Fear” examines the cultivation of a white suburban culture of vigilantism and the political exploitation of fear of community change in the late 20th century. 



  • Even if Georgia Turns Blue, North Carolina may not Follow

    by Michael Bitzer and Virginia Summey

    North Carolina's politics have long been characterized by a competition between fairly evenly balanced forces of conservatism and moderation. Democrats who hope to permanently tip the state in their favor are likely to be disappointed. 



  • The End of the Businessman President

    by Kyle Edward Williams

    Will Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic mark the end of the pernicious myths that the popular good is served by running government like a business, or that business executives have a talent for governing? 



  • How Did the GOP Become the Party of Ideas?

    by Lawrence B. Glickman

    The Republican Party's reputation as the "Party of Ideas" in the late 1970s and 1980s was generally created by Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who derided the New Deal and Great Society as stale and outdated in a struggle to push the Democratic Party to the right.