Know Your Enemy is a podcast about the American right co-hosted by Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell. Read more about it here. You can subscribe to, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, and receive bonus content by supporting the podcast on Patreon.
Matt and Sam are joined by Michael Kazin, Georgetown University historian and co-editor emeritus of Dissent, to talk about his new book, What It Took to Win: A History of the Democratic Party. They discuss the origins of the Democratic Party, its alliance between the urban North and the segregationist South, and its turn toward using government to help ordinary people. Then they turn to the crack-up of the New Deal coalition and the rise of the right that followed. Why did people whose relative comfort and prosperity had been made possible by policies championed by Democrats turn against them? How did Democrats respond to Ronald Reagan winning forty-nine states in 1984? Did it have to turn out the way it did?
Sources and further reading:
Michael Kazin, What It Took To Win: A History of the Democratic Party, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Whatever Happened to Moral Capitalism? New York Times
Sam Rosenfeld, What Defines the Democratic Party? New Republic
Matthew Sitman, Tribute to Michael Kazin, Dissent
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