HSTRY 288/HSTAA 290 Elections as History
Prof. M. O'Mara
Every four years—including this year—the battle to win the U.S. presidency captures the attention of American voters, reporters, and observers all over the world. There are few historical events as consuming of public attention, and as exhaustively analyzed. In this seminar, we will place today’s candidates and debates in historical context by exploring the evolution of presidential campaigns and candidates since the late nineteenth century. We address how shifting demographics, market changes, and social issues changed the composition of the major national parties over time, how successive generations of “new” media reshaped how to run and win, and the personalities and social movements that remade the political landscape. Through readings of primary and secondary sources, group discussion and project work, and original research, our work in this seminar will also give you practice in the basic skills of critical reading, data analysis, and communication (both verbal and written) that are central to the practice of history.
Required texts are available for purchase in the University Bookstore and on reserve at Odegaard Undergraduate Library.
1. Brett Flehinger, The 1912 Election and the Power of Progressivism
2. Alan Brinkley, Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression
3. Joe McGinniss, The Selling of the President 1968
4. Anne Kornblut, Notes from the Cracked Ceiling: What it Will Take for a Woman to Win
5. HSTRY 288/HSTAA 290 Course Pack containing articles, chapters, and primary sources listed on this syllabus.
Full syllabus can be downloaded here: