The Transformation of American Liberalism, 1932-1965
Princeton University Press 2016
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Public PolicyNew Books Network August 1, 2016 Heath Brown
Eric Schickler is the author of Racial Realignment: The Transformation of American Liberalism, 1932-1965 (Princeton University Press, 2016). Schickler is the Jeffrey and Ashley McDermott Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.
Much scholarship on the racial realignment of U.S. political parties argues for an elite based explanation focused on Washington and national figures. Schickler’s new book challenges this notion with a deep-dive into the archives. He argues that rather than a top-down explanation, party realignment happened from the bottom-up. He credits the long history of the Civil Rights movement, emergence of new players in organized labor, and state and local forces. Realignment, then, is a gradual process that occurred over decades, rather than primarily in the 1960s.