J. Edgar Hoover’s 50-Year Career of Blackmail, Entrapment, and Taking Down Communist Spies


The pendulum in American electoral politics never swung harder than the 1920s to 1930s. In the 1924 presidential election, Democrats lost every state outside the Jim Crow south and barely scraped together 25 percent of the popular vote. In less than 10 years, they built the New Deal Coalition, a tremendously powerful political force that included everyone from the KKK on one side to black communists on the other, with Great Plains populists, backcountry Jacksonians and multilingual urbanites in between. How do electoral coalitions that seem timeless breakdown and reform in the blink of an eye, and what can that tell us about our current political coalitions?

To discuss how political realignment happens is today’s guest Timothy Shenk, author of the book Realigners. In a history that runs from the drafting of the Constitution to 2022, Shenk discusses characters from James Madison and Charles Sumner to Phyllis Schlafly and Barack Obama. The result is a provocative reassessment of the people who built the electoral coalitions that defined American democracy―and a guide for a time when figures ranging from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to MAGA-minded nationalists seek to turn radical dreams into political realities.


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"Republicans Controlled 1920s America But Were Later Crushed By the New Deal Coalition. How Do These Realignments Happen, and Are We Seeing O" History on the Net
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