WWS Calendar

The Fight to Vote

Audience: 
Open to the Public
Speaker(s): 
Michael Waldman, President, Brennan Center for Justice, New York University School of Law; author, “The Fight to Vote”

The history and continuing struggle to win and maintain voting rights for all citizens will be addressed at a public book talk to be held Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, at Robertson Hall, Dodds Auditorium, on the Princeton University campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The discussion, “The Fight to Vote,” will be presented by author Michael Waldman, president of New York University’s (NYU) Brennan Center for Justice. Waldman will be joined in conversation by Julian Zelizer, the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School. A book sale and signing will follow the discussion.

Michael Waldman is president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, a nonpartisan law and policy institute that focuses on improving the systems of democracy and justice. He was director of speechwriting for President Bill Clinton from 1995 to 1999 and is the author of “The Second Amendment,”  “My Fellow Americans,”  “POTUS Speaks,” and three other books.

In the book, Waldman traces the full history of voting rights from the country’s founders’ debates to today’s challenges, addressing a wave of restrictive voting laws, partisan gerrymanders, issues of class, race, political parties and campaign corruption.

Waldman emphasizes that the fight to vote has been at the center of American politics since the nation’s founding: “It didn’t start at Selma,” he notes. From the beginning, and at every step along the way, as Americans sought the right to vote, others have fought to stop them. Raucous debates over how to expand democracy have always been a part of American politics.

Julian Zelizer is among the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the author of numerous books, the most recent of which is “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society” (2015). Zelizer is a frequent commentator in the international and national media on political history and contemporary politics and is a weekly columnist on CNN.com.