American Political History Seminar - "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America"

American Political History
Event date: 
October 13, 2016 -
4:30pm to 6:00pm
Speaker(s): 
Ari Berman
Writer for The Nation magazine
Seminar Series: 
American Political History Seminar
Co-Sponsored by: 
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Audience: 
Public

Ari Berman, writer for The Nation magazine

"Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America"


Ari Berman is a senior contributing writer for The Nation magazine and a Fellow at The Nation Institute. His new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, was published in August 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He has written extensively about American politics, civil rights, and the intersection of money and politics. His stories have also appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian, and he is a frequent guest and commentator on MSNBC and NPR. His first book, Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics, was published in 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


Book Description from Amazon.com:

Countless books have been written about the civil rights movement, but far less attention has been paid to what happened after the dramatic passage of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1965 and the turbulent forces it unleashed. Give Us the Ballot tells this story for the first time.

In this groundbreaking narrative history, Ari Berman charts both the transformation of American democracy under the VRA and the counterrevolution that has sought to limit voting rights, from 1965 to the present day. The act enfranchised millions of Americans and is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement. And yet, fifty years later, we are still fighting heated battles over race, representation, and political power, with lawmakers devising new strategies to keep minorities out of the voting booth and with the Supreme Court declaring a key part of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional.

Berman brings the struggle over voting rights to life through meticulous archival research, in-depth interviews with major figures in the debate, and incisive on-the-ground reporting. In vivid prose, he takes the reader from the demonstrations of the civil rights era to the halls of Congress to the chambers of the Supreme Court. At this important moment in history, Give Us the Ballot provides new insight into one of the most vital political and civil rights issues of our time.


The American Political History seminar series serves as a forum for scholars interested in American political history, broadly defined. Based in the Department of History, the seminar brings together faculty and graduate students from across campus for an exchange of ideas and an exploration of cutting-edge work in this resurgent field. The seminar offers Princeton graduate students a chance to meet with pre-eminent scholars working in American political history and discuss their works in progress. The seminars are organized by Professors Kevin Kruse and Julian Zelizer.

Contact: 
Jennifer Loessy
Area of Interest: 
History & Public Policy
Political History
Race & Ethnicity
Region: 
United States
Period: 
20th Century