The election of 1968 represented a true turning point in American politics, beginning the decline of political liberalism. At the same time, it saw the rise of conservative populism and the anti-government attitudes that continue to dominate the nation’s political discourse today. Out of 1968, a new political narrative emerged, one that shaped the image and ideological direction of both the Democratic and Republican Party.
It was also a year of extraordinary political events: from the Tet Offensive, Eugene McCarty’s stunning near upset in the New Hampshire primary and the withdrawal of President Lyndon Johnson from the presidential race, to the assassination of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the narrow victory of Richard Nixon over Hubert Humphrey.
In his book American Maelstrom, Cohen looks back at the seminal election of 1968 and explains how our current political realities have been shaped by the events of this extraordinary year. Cohen will be joined by Saint Anselm Assistant Professor Chris Galdieri for a wide-ranging conservation about 1968, its legacy in American politics and why the echoes of 1968 can still be heard on the campaign trail this election year.
A book sale and signing with the author will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
Michael A. Cohen is a national political columnist for The Boston Globe. He writes regularly on American politics and U.S. foreign policy and has previously been a columnist for the Guardian and Foreign Policy. He is the author of Live from the Campaign Trail: The Greatest Presidential Campaign Speeches of the 20th Century and How They Shaped Modern America.
Chris Galdieri is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at Saint Anselm College. His research focuses on the interplay between political elites and the mass public.