Exploring politics with primaries around the bend
For Geoffrey Cowan’s “Let the People Rule,” a history of the 1912 presidential election and the debut of the modern primary, timing is everything — twice over.
The Bay Area Book Festival will present an interview with Cowan, a renowned scholar, journalist and government official, just two days before California’s primary on June 7. The publication of this colorful history of Theodore Roosevelt’s failed attempt to win the Republican Party’s nomination, despite claiming a majority of delegates to its convention, “was timed to coincide with the start of the presidential primaries this year, but no one could have predicted how crazy they would become or how relevant that book would be,” said Cowan.
As a Yale law student, Cowan himself played a role in expanding the number of primaries in 1968, prompting the Washington Post book reviewer to write: “If Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination for president over the strenuous efforts of party elites to derail him, he ought to send a note of thanks to Geoffrey Cowan.”
“When that note arrives, I will let you know,” joked Cowan, who will be interviewed by author Adam Hochschild (“Spain in Our Hearts”) at 3:15 p.m. Sunday at Dharma College.
For more insights on U.S. politics, don’t miss Sen. Barbara Boxer’s talk on her new memoir, “The Art of Tough,” at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Freight & Salvage.