Join University of Southern California professor Geoffrey Cowan and Chicago Sun-Times Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Jim Kirk for a lively discussion of Cowan’s new book, Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary. The discussion will not only recount the exhilarating story of the four-month campaign that changed American politics forever, but will also consider how this campaign continues to be relevant in 2016. Author and journalist Adam Hochschild writes, “You wouldn’t think that there would be anything new to say about Theodore Roosevelt by now…[but] Cowan has brought to life a fascinating part of TR’s story usually left out of the history books.”
Learn about this fascinating chapter in the story of Teddy Roosevelt, who in 1912 came out of retirement to challenge his close friend and handpicked successor, William Howard Taft, for the Republican Party nomination. To overcome the power of the incumbent, TR seized on the idea of presidential primaries, telling bosses everywhere to “Let the People Rule.” After sweeping nine out of thirteen primaries, he felt entitled to the nomination. But the party bosses proved too powerful, leading Roosevelt to split with the Republican Party and form a new, Progressive “Bull Moose Party” that championed the right of the people to rule - until a shocking political calculation led TR to ban black delegates from the Deep South. Cowan reveals the little known story of the heroic stand that many of those black delegates - including a Harvard trained doctor, several lawyers, business leaders and a distinguished poet - took after Roosevelt turned his back on them.
Free and open to the public; no registration required.