Skip to content

Populism in the United States: Past and Present

Instructor(s): Jonathan Levy, Michael Zakim
Fall 2023
Photo of a crowd with a blurring and mirroring effect, with a purple filter. Text that reads “Populism in the United States: Past and Present. Jonathan Levy and Michael Zakim. HIST 38307, LLSO 28307, CCCT 28307, HIST 28307. Fall 2023.” 3CT logo.

This course will explore the long history of populism in the United States, a history that raises fundamental questions about the nature of US politics, law, and society. These include ongoing disputes over the ownership and control of wealth; the rights and duties of individuals to each other as well as to the commonweal; the relationship of citizens to their nation; reigning definitions of justice and the good life; and the currency of racism, jingoism, paranoia, antisemitism, and demagoguery in US democratic politics. Such large subjects will be engaged through an historical investigation, beginning with the War of Independence. The course will finish by examining the putative reemergence of “populism” in recent years, particularly since the financial crisis of 2008, to include global comparisons.

HIST 28307 | HIST 38307 | LLSO 28307 | CCCT 28307 | CCCT 38307