I am a big fan of Julian Zelizer‘s work. He appeared on an episode of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast to talk about his co-authored book Fault Lines. I am also eager to read his recent book on Abraham Joshua Heschel.
In March, Princeton University Press will release his edited collection, The Presidency of Donald J. Trump: A First Historical Assessment. The book includes essays by an all-star cast of historians including Nicole Hemmer, Mae Ngai, Margaret O’Mara, Jeffrey Engel, Michael Kazin, and Gregory Downs. I am eager to read it.
Here is a description of the book:
Leading historians provide perspective on Trump’s four turbulent years in the White House. The Presidency of Donald J. Trump presents a first draft of history by offering needed perspective on one of the nation’s most divisive presidencies. Acclaimed political historian Julian Zelizer brings together many of today’s top scholars to provide balanced and strikingly original assessments of the major issues that shaped the Trump presidency. When Trump took office in 2017, he quickly carved out a loyal base within an increasingly radicalized Republican Party, dominated the news cycle with an endless stream of controversies, and presided over one of the most contentious one-term presidencies in American history. These essays cover the crucial aspects of Trump’s time in office, including his administration’s close relationship with conservative media, his war on feminism, the solidification of a conservative women’s movement, his response to COVID-19, the border wall, growing tensions with China and NATO allies, white nationalism in an era of Black Lives Matter, and how the high-tech sector flourished. The Presidency of Donald J. Trump reveals how Trump was not the cause of the political divisions that defined his term in office but rather was a product of long-term trends in Republican politics and American polarization more broadly.
If you look at the Table of Contents you will notice that the book does not include a chapter on religion. All editors must make decisions about what to include and what to leave out, but I think it’s fair to say that Trump’s appeal to white evangelicals was a major part of his presidency.
A glance at the index reveals two pages (46-47) on “evangelical conservatives” in Zelizer’s essay “Reckoning with Trump’s GOP.” There are mentions of San Antonio megachurch pastor and First Baptist-Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress on page 284 in Daniel Kurtzer’s essay on Trump’s Middle East policy. It looks like Latino evangelicals are touched -on in Geraldo Cadava’s essay “Latinos for Trump.” And evangelicals make cameo appearances in essays by Michael Kazin, Mae Ngai, and Bathsheba Demuth.
And that appears to be it.
It is hard to imagine future historical assessments of the Trump presidency that do not deal extensively with white conservative evangelicals.
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