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July 25, 2016 at 4:53 pm

Mattson Contributes to Chronicle’s ‘Trump 101 Syllabus’

Dr. Kevin Mattson, the Connor Study Professor of Contemporary History at Ohio University, contributed to the Chronicle oh Higher Education’s “Trump 101 syllabus.”

Dr. Kevin Mattson

Dr. Kevin Mattson

“This course will explore the phenomenon that is Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. We will take an interdisciplinary approach, gathering insights from history, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, and beyond. The course will be taught by Jeremy Adelman, Elizabeth Anderson, Jennifer Burns, Robert Greene II, Hans Hansell, Steven F. Hayward, Marc Hetherington, Philip Jenkins, Michael Kazin, Jill Lepore, Harvey Mansfield, Kevin Mattson, Dan McAdams, Wilfred M. McClay, Kim Phillips-Fein, Nancy Rosenblum, Michael Tesler, and Alan Wolfe,” said the article’s introduction.

Mattson’s contributions to the syllabus include:


Dan T. Carter, The Politics of Rage (1995). The story of George Wallace, a rabid segregationist who became a hero to the Northern white working class in 1968. His political rallies, juiced up on violent rhetoric, had lingering aftereffects. (KM)

Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (1963). A classic, and an incisive analysis of the deep roots of America’s general resistance to complexity in public life. (KM)


H. Ross Perot, United We Stand: How We Can Take Back Our Country (1992). The businessman enters politics. Perot’s chaotic campaign of 1992, full of stops and starts, was based on the idea that a successful man who opposed free trade (remember that “giant sucking sound” from Mexico?) could just get into government and “fix” things. (KM)


Sarah Palin, Going Rogue (2009). Yes, that’s right, it’s time to treat Sarah Palin as history. The cultivation of celebrity, a tendency to make statements out of impulsiveness rather than reflection, and a fervid populism — these things came together in Sarah Palin’s vice-presidential candidacy in 2008. (KM)

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