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The Populist PersuasionThe Populist Persuasion

An American History

Michael Kazin

Narrated by Barry Gladden

Available from Audible

Book published by Cornell University Press

In The Populist Persuasion, the distinguished historian Michael Kazin guides readers through the expressions of conflict between powerful elites and "the people" that have run through our civic life, filling it with discord and meaning from the birth of the United States until the present day.

Kazin argues persuasively that the power of populism lies in its adaptable nature. Across the political spectrum, commentators paste the label on forces and individuals who really have just one big thing in common: they are effective at blasting "elites" or "the establishment" for harming the interests and betraying the ideals of "the people" in nations that are committed, at least officially, to democratic principles. Kazin’s classic book has influenced debates over populism since its publication. The new preface to this edition brings the story up to date by charting the present resurgence of populist discourse, which was front and center in the 2016 elections and in the Brexit debate.


“A perceptive and passionately liberal book. Beginning with the antislavery crusade of the 1840s, Kazin skillfully surveys more than a century of mass protests, using imagery and symbolism as his guides.”

New York Times

“The important questions raised by the success of the populist right in the United States are illuminated in Kazin's splendid and timely book.”

The Nation

“In his new book, Michael Kazin provides a rich and thoughtful account of the evolution of populist rhetoric on the left and the right in American politics in the past century.”

The New Republic

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University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks