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A Brief History of Anti-Populism

BY spectator events


July 17, 2020

6:00 pm




Join us on Friday, July 17th when our US editor Freddy Gray will be joined by Thomas Frank to discuss his new book The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism.

Frank argues that "populism" isn't the frightening thing that pundits often use to scare their audience when discussing Donald Trump.

Instead, the real story of populism is an account of enlightenment and liberation; it is the story of American democracy itself, of its ever-widening promise of a decent life for all. Taking us from the tumultuous 1890s, when the radical left-wing Populist Party―the biggest mass movement in American history―fought Gilded Age plutocrats to the reformers’ great triumphs under Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, Frank reminds us how much we owe to the populist ethos.

Frank also shows that elitist groups have reliably detested populism, lashing out at working-class concerns. The anti-populist vituperations by the Washington centrists of today are only the latest expression.

Don't miss out on what's sure to be an illuminating conversation.