In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Timothy Shenk – author of Realigners: Partisan Hacks, Political Visionaries, and the Struggle to Rule American Democracy – discusses what motivated him to explore the making of majorities and key members of the democratic elite who made those majorities; how the strongest and strangest coalition in American history – the New Deal majority – was assembled; what a study of the parallel maturation of the civil rights revolution and the liberal establishment may reveal about the making and unmaking of that coalition; and why it has become so difficult to sustain majorities today.
Timothy Shenk is a historian of the modern United States, with a particular focus on political and intellectual history. He is an assistant professor at George Washington University and acts as co-editor of Dissent magazine. Realigners: Partisan Hacks, Political Visionaries, and the Struggle to Rule American Democracy is Timothy Shenk’s second book. It is published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
In collaboration with Lucie Hunter