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Politics & Polls #56: The Aftermath of Charlottesville
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August 17, 2017 08:39 AM PDT
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A brutal protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, left three people dead and dozens injured on Aug. 11 and 12 as white nationalists, white supremacists and Neo-Nazis descended on the city and clashed violently with anti-racism protestors. President Donald Trump initially condemned the conflict on Twitter and then a few days later declared blame upon both parties involved in the clash.

The event, which has rattled Americans, has brought racial tensions to the forefront. In this episode, Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the aftermath of Charlottesville — and what to expect in the weeks ahead.

Politics & Polls #55: Has the Conservative Revolution Succeeded? A Conversation with Nancy MacLean
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August 10, 2017 09:12 AM PDT
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Joining today’s episode is Nancy MacLean, an award-winning scholar of the twentieth-century United States, whose new book, “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America,” has been described by Publishers Weekly as “a thoroughly researched and gripping narrative… [and] a feat of American intellectual and political history.” Booklist called it “perhaps the best explanation to date of the roots of the political divide that threatens to irrevocably alter American government.”

McClean discusses her book with Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang, as well as the widely-publicized controversial debates that have surrounded its publication. McClean responds to some of her critics in an illuminating conversation.

The author of four other books, including “Freedom is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace” (2006) called by the Chicago Tribune "contemporary history at its best,” and “Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan,” named a New York Times "noteworthy" book of 1994, MacLean is the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University.

Her articles and review essays have appeared in American Quarterly, The Boston Review, Feminist Studies, Gender & History, In These Times, International Labor and Working Class History, Labor, Labor History, Journal of American History, Journal of Women’s History, Law and History Review, The Nation, the OAH Magazine of History and many edited collections.

MacLean’s scholarship has received more than a dozen prizes and awards and been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Russell Sage Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowships Foundation. In 2010, she was elected a fellow of the Society of American Historians, which recognizes literary distinction in the writing of history and biography. Also an award-winning teacher and committed graduate student mentor, she offers courses on post-1945 America, social movements, and public policy history. 

Politics & Polls #55: Has the Conservative Revolution Succeeded? A Conversation with Nancy MacLean
Clean
August 10, 2017 09:03 AM PDT
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Joining today’s episode is Nancy MacLean, an award-winning scholar of the twentieth-century United States, whose new book, “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America,” has been described by Publishers Weekly as “a thoroughly researched and gripping narrative… [and] a feat of American intellectual and political history.” Booklist called it “perhaps the best explanation to date of the roots of the political divide that threatens to irrevocably alter American government.”

McClean discusses her book with Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang, as well as the widely-publicized controversial debates that have surrounded its publication. McClean responds to some of her critics in an illuminating conversation.

The author of four other books, including “Freedom is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace” (2006) called by the Chicago Tribune "contemporary history at its best,” and “Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan,” named a New York Times "noteworthy" book of 1994, MacLean is the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University.

Her articles and review essays have appeared in American Quarterly, The Boston Review, Feminist Studies, Gender & History, In These Times, International Labor and Working Class History, Labor, Labor History, Journal of American History, Journal of Women’s History, Law and History Review, The Nation, the OAH Magazine of History and many edited collections.

MacLean’s scholarship has received more than a dozen prizes and awards and been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Russell Sage Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowships Foundation. In 2010, she was elected a fellow of the Society of American Historians, which recognizes literary distinction in the writing of history and biography. Also an award-winning teacher and committed graduate student mentor, she offers courses on post-1945 America, social movements, and public policy history. 

Politics & Polls #54: The Republic of Spin with David Greenberg
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August 03, 2017 07:46 AM PDT
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Spin. It’s used by public relations gurus and politicians to shape an image or message, thereby influencing the public’s perception of a story. And it’s engrained in American politics, as presidents and presidential candidates both have used the art of spin to frame stories and public opinion.

To discuss the art of spin, David Greenberg, a professor of history and journalism and media studies at Rutgers University, joins this episode of Politics & Polls. Greenberg’s book, “Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency,” examines the rise of the White House spin machine, from the Progressive Era to the present day, and the debates that Americans have waged over its implications for democracy.

Politics & Polls #53: Battles for Freedom with Eric Foner
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July 27, 2017 10:41 AM PDT
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Drawing connections between the past and present often sparks fierce debates within the American political landscape.

In this episode, Eric Foner, one of America’s most distinguished historians, discusses these interpretations of history and how they relate to today. His latest book, “Battles for Freedom,” explores this “use and abuse of American history,” unearthing the hidden history of American radicalism.

Finer is the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University and specializes in the Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery, and 19th-century America.

Politics & Polls #52: How Social Movements Achieve Change with Steven Levingston
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July 20, 2017 06:57 AM PDT
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The Civil Rights Movement is often looked back upon as a time when social activism sparked real political change. During that time, the United States saw some of its greatest leaders guide the country through turbulent years. Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy provided different models of leadership, which some argue are needed today.

In this episode, Professor Julian Zelizer interviews Steven Levingston, nonfiction editor at the Washington Post, about the battle over civil rights. Levingston is the author of "Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights", “Little Demon in the City of Light: A True Story of Murder and Mesmerism in Belle Époque Paris” and “The Kennedy Baby: The Loss that Transformed JFK.”

Politics & Polls #51: The Trump-Russia Story with Benjamin Wittes
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July 13, 2017 01:33 PM PDT
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President Donald Trump has spent his first months faced with a potential scandal involving Russia, an issue that’s only grown since the election with discussions and investigations about possible obstruction and collusion. In recent weeks, this has dominated national political debates, especially in Congress and the White House.

Benjamin Wittes, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Lawfare blog, joins this episode of Politics & Polls to discuss where things stand in the Trump-Russia scandal. The Lawfare blog is “devoted to sober and serious discussion of ‘hard national security choices.’”

Wittes, a journalist who focuses on national security and law, is also a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of “Detention and Denial: The Case for Candor After Guantanamo”, published in November 2011; co-editor of “Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change,” published in December 2011; and editor of “Campaign 2012: Twelve Independent Ideas for Improving American Public Policy,” published in May 2017 by the Brookings Institution Press.

Politics & Polls #50: One-Year Anniversary
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June 29, 2017 08:12 AM PDT
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This week marks the one-year anniversary of Politics & Polls! In this episode, Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang reflect on everything that’s transpired over the past year from the presidential campaign to President Donald Trump’s election.

Politics & Polls #49: Democracy, Gerrymandering, Federalism & More
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June 22, 2017 06:20 AM PDT
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America’s experienced a blitz of political twists and turns in the past few months, which may cloak some of the deep-rooted challenges still facing the nation. Still looming large in the background are issues related to the political process — like democracy, gerrymandering, voting laws and federalism.

In this episode, the focus turns toward the structure of politics with special guest Heather Gerken, one of the country’s leading experts on constitutional law and election law.

Gerken is the J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law at Yale Law School and founder of the “nationalist school” of federalism; her work focuses on federalism, diversity, and dissent. Hailed as an “intellectual guru” in the The New York Times, Professor Gerken’s scholarship has been featured in The Atlantic, the Boston Globe, NPR, The New York Times, and Time.

At Yale, she founded and runs the country’s most innovative clinic in local government law. Gerken is also a renowned teacher who has won awards at both Yale and Harvard and was named one of the nation’s “twenty-six best law teachers.”

Gerken clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th Circuit and Justice David Souter of the United States Supreme Court. She then served as an appellate lawyer in Washington, D.C., before joining the Harvard Law School faculty in 2000. Gerken came to Yale in 2006 and became the inaugural J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law in 2008. She will serve as the 17th dean of Yale’s Law School, starting July 1, 2017.

Politics & Polls #48: Wake Up to Politics with Gabe Fleisher
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June 15, 2017 12:22 PM PDT
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One of the ongoing challenges in American politics is appealing to younger demographics - not simply through elections and voter turn-out but engaging young people with the political process. Today’s young people - and even some adults – find politics difficult to digest and unappealing, presenting challenges in the ways that Americans learn, interpret and analyze politics.

Gabe Fleisher, a 15-year-old student in St. Louis, is looking to change that with his newsletter “Wake Up to Politics,” which is sent to 36,000 readers every morning. Our youngest guest to date, Fleisher discusses his newsletter and how to make politics appealing in this episode of Politics & Polls.

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