Stanford history Professor Jack Rakove offers a long-term perspective on some of the changes and challenges facing the U.S. political system. The presidency has emerged as the strongest of the three government branches while Congress is seemingly paralyzed by partisanship.
By Nancy Murphy
Amid today’s relentless 24/7 news cycle, it’s difficult to put this year’s election events into a deeper historical and philosophical context.
To explore how the presidency and the practice of politics have changed since the early days of the republic, Worldview Stanford interviewed Jack Rakove, the William Robertson Coe Professor in History and American Studies. A historian of the American Revolution and the origins of the U.S. Constitution, he is the author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on James Madison.
This interview is part of Wide Angle: Election 2016, a Stanford media series that offers scholarly, nonpartisan perspectives on the forces shaping the election.
Historians are very nervous about the idea of learning lessons from the past. That sounds somewhat counter-intuitive because common sense wisdom is that we study the past to learn lessons that we can somehow apply to the present ...