The Gift of Partisan Politics

The polarized political atmosphere that has defined the Obama era and this year’s tumultuous presidential election is viewed by many as ultimate proof of the destructiveness of partisan politics. But Sean Wilentz sees a very different story. In "The Politicians and the Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics", the famed Princeton historian argues that our partisan politics have always been a critical part of a functioning political system and a crucial tool against the extremes of wealth and want. This annual lecture recognizes a generous multiyear contribution to the Chicago Humanities Festival by Julie and Roger Baskes.