President Zach Messitte, coauthors to discuss new book about Republican populism Oct. 14

Republican Populist: Spiro Agnew and the Origins of Donald Trump’s America, a book co-written by President Zach Messitte, will be the focus of talk at Ripon College Oct. 14.

The talk will run from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. in Kresge Little Theatre, East Hall. The other speakers will be coauthors Jerald Podair, professor of history and Robert S. French professor of American studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin; and Charles J. Holden, professor of history at St. Mary’s College in Maryland and the author of The New Southern University: Academic Freedom and Liberalism at UNC.

The Center for Politics and the People is hosting the talk, which is free and open to the public.

Republican Populist is scheduled to be released Oct. 11 and will be available on amazon.com. It addresses the effect former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew had on the modern Republican Party and claims that it is impossible to explain the internal issues that the Republican Party is dealing with today without an understanding of Spiro T. Agnew and his beliefs.

Typically a maligned figure in American political history, Agnew often is overlooked. Although he is largely remembered for his alliterative speeches, attacks on the media and East Coast intellectuals, and for his resignation from office in 1973 in the wake of tax evasion charges, Agnew had a significant impact on the modern Republican Party.

He was one of the first proponents of what would become the ideology of Donald Trump’s GOP. He also helped to create much of the rhetoric that established the Republican Party as a strong force that defines America’s current politics. The book analyzes Agnew’s populist beliefs and his attempts to make the Republican Party represent the silent majority and examines the connection from Agnew’s version of the party to the current Republican Party with populists and businessmen.


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