Michael Kazin is the editor of Dissent.

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Presidential ADD

August 21, 2014 · Blog

Why has Barack Obama—one of the most eloquent and thoughtful of recent presidents—become such a terrible politician? Midway through his sixth year in office, his ineptitude is pretty clear. He frustrated and demobilized the huge base he built during his … {…}

By Michael Kazin
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Gaza: The Longest War

July 18, 2014 · Blog

What response should we have to the current bloodletting in Gaza and Israel? In the current situation, it may seem useful to apply F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous line about “a first-rate intelligence” being able to “hold two opposed ideas in … {…}

By Michael Kazin
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Our Declaration

Contemporary American leftists do not, as a rule, think kindly about the history of the nation they inhabit. Centuries of slavery, the bloody conquest of Indian and Mexican lands, and two long imperial wars in East Asia sullied, if not … {…}

By Michael Kazin
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Why Democrats Need Bernie Sanders to Run for President

May 20, 2014 · Blog

Bernie Sanders may actually run for president. The feisty Senator from Vermont is giving dinner speeches in Iowa, telling journalists he’s “prepared” to campaign, and is deciding whether he wants to compete for the Democratic nomination or take the “radical” … {…}

By Michael Kazin
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LBJ Was No Liberal Hero

April 13, 2014 · Blog

From 1964 to 1968, close to 34,000 Americans died in South Vietnam. We will never know how many Vietnamese women, men, and children perished during those years, but the total, according to most estimates, was at least one million. Among … {…}

By Michael Kazin

Beyond Rights

The 1964 Civil Rights Act certainly deserves a shower of golden anniversary tributes. Thanks to what Clay Risen, in his new book about its passage, calls “the Bill of the Century,” most Americans now assume and most welcome the fact … {…}

By Michael Kazin
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Rand Paul Doesn’t Stand a Chance

March 26, 2014 · Blog

Libertarianism is suddenly in fashion. Denouncing the NSA, Rand Paul draws cheers both from young leftists in Berkeley and young conservatives in D.C.—and narrowly leads in early polls for the 2016 presidential nomination. The Koch brothers—who once bankrolled the Libertarian Party—plan to spend … {…}

By Michael Kazin
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Kicking the Foreign-Intervention Habit

February 28, 2014 · Blog

Barack Obama is willing to withdraw almost every American soldier from Afghanistan and wants to reduce the Army to a size that would make another prolonged engagement abroad nearly impossible. Under his plan, the force of 450,000 would be the … {…}

By Michael Kazin
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The Civil Rights Act Was Not as Important as You Think

February 12, 2014 · Blog

The Civil Rights Act was the most important legal step to combat inequality taken in the United States since the three Reconstruction amendments were added to the Constitution in the 1860s. The Bill of the Century is the title of … {…}

By Michael Kazin
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Slavery Is Having a Hollywood Moment. What About the Rest of Black History in America?

January 21, 2014 · Blog

A century after the artful mendacity that was Birth of a Nation and 75 years after the pro-Confederate pathos of Gone With a Wind, Hollywood is finally seeing big profits in sympathetic narratives about the black men and women who were once held … {…}

By Michael Kazin
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