WWS Calendar

The Politicians and the Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics

Oct 13, 2016 04:30PM to 06:00PM
Audience: 
Open to the Public
Speaker(s): 
Sean Wilentz, George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History, Princeton University; author, “The Politicians and the Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics”

The role politics has played in America’s struggle against economic inequality will be addressed at a public book talk to be held Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in Bowl 016, at Robertson Hall, on the Princeton University campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The discussion, “Unlocking the Secrets of American Politics,” will be presented by Sean Wilentz, the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History at Princeton University and author of The Politicians and the Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics.” A book sale and signing will follow the discussion.

Wilentz studies U.S. social and political history. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses on U.S. history, focusing on the 19th century. He has also taught courses on American literature and 20th-century American culture and politics. His book, “The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln” (2005), was awarded the Bancroft Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

According to Wilentz, “There are two keys to unlocking the secrets of American politics and American political history.” First, America is built on an egalitarian society—the belief in the equality of all people, especially in political, economic or social life. Second, the author asserts, partisanship is a permanent fixture in America, and America is the better for it.

“The Politicians and the Egalitarians” unravels the role politics has played in America’s struggle against economic inequality. Told through politicians and egalitarians including Thomas Paine, Abraham Lincoln, and W. E. B. Du Bois, the book provides a historical portrait of this nation’s political and moral character.