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What it Took to Win: A History of the Democratic Party

Date & Time

May. 25, 2022
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET


Zoom Webinar


This book tells the story of how the oldest mass party in the world contended for power and what its leaders did with it when they won. The aims and methods of Democrats have evolved, inevitably, over the past two centuries. But one theme has endured: they have insisted that the economy should benefit the ordinary working person, whether farmer or wage earner, and that governments should institute policies to make that possible—and to resist those that did not. Of course, Democrats argued about and for many other causes. Yet who gains and who loses in the competition for vital resources has been a constant theme in the history of every nation and people. When Democrats made a convincing appeal to the economic interests of the many, they usually celebrated victory at the polls.

Michael Kazin is a professor of history at Georgetown University. He received his BA from Harvard and his PhD from Stanford. He is the author of seven books, including The Populist Persuasion: An American History, (revised edition, 2017) A Godly Hero; The Life of William Jennings Bryan, (2006) and American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation. (2011), He is emeritus editor of Dissent magazine and writes regularly for The New York Times, The Nation, The New Republic and other publications.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University and the National History Center) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partners (the George Washington University History Department and the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest) for their continued support.


Henry Olsen

Henry Olsen

Columnist with The Washington Post
Elizabeth Tandy Shermer

Elizabeth Tandy Shermer

Professor of History, Loyola University Chicago

Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

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