Politics & Polls #57: The Heart of the American Right

Aug 24 2017
By Staff
Topics Politics
Source Woodrow Wilson School

Some have argued that Donald Trump was propelled into office by people who have been characterized as discouraged and depressed by a world that no longer feels like their own. But what was it about Donald Trump’s motto, “Make America Great Again,” that captured the attention of so many who voted for him?  

In this episode, Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang interview Arlie Russell Hochschild, a sociologist who traveled deep into the heart of the “American Right.” Hochschild’s five-year journey culminated in the bestselling book, “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right,” a National Book Award finalist.

Hochschild is professor emerita of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of nine books, and three of her books have been named by The New York Times as Notable Books of the Year. She is the winner of the Ulysses Medal as well as Guggenheim and Mellon grants.


Zelizer is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 
Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has been one of the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the author of several books including, most recently, "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society." Zelizer is a frequent commentator in the international and national media on political history and contemporary politics. He has published more than 600 hundred op-eds, including his weekly column on CNN.com.

Wang is professor of neuroscience and molecular biology at Princeton University. He is known for his books "Welcome to Your Brain" and "Welcome to Your Child's Brain" and for his founding role at the Princeton Election Consortium, a blog providing U.S. election analyses. In 2004, Wang was one of the first to aggregate U.S. presidential polls using probabilistic methods. He has also developed new statistical standards for partisan gerrymandering. A neuroscientist, Wang's academic research focuses on the neuroscience of learning, the cerebellum.