Christopher Baylor is the author of First to the Party: The Group Origins of Political Transformations (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017). Baylor is an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. Based on substantial archival research, Baylor's book positions interest groups at the center of what makes parties change. Using the case of civil rights organizations and the Democratic Party in the 1940s and cultural conservative organizations and the Republican Party in the 1980s and 90s, First to the Party shows how groups gain influence within existing political parties and foment transformation. He argues that parties respond less to public opinion and voters than to powerful groups, especially during the nomination process. Baylor deepens what we know about political parties, interest groups, and their interactions.
Heath Brown, associate professor, City University of New York, John Jay College and CUNY Grad Center, hosted this podcast. Please rate the podcast on iTunes and share it on social media.