35 Min Released Jul 2, 2016

53. Sean Wilentz (Historian) – The Culture Strikes Back

*The stakes are extraordinarily high in this election. We’re at a crossroads. I think the current politics are a continuation of the fight we’ve been having since the ‘60s.The expansion of an African-American middle class, the changes in family norms, in gender and sexual norms . . .Lots of people felt threatened by that. Lots of people resisted that. 
*
But the war is only going to be settled now.  – Sean Wilentz

Sean Wilentz is a Princeton professor and the Bancroft-Prize-Winning Author of The Rise of American Democracy. He’s also a major music historian and the author of Bob Dylan in America, and the official historian of Bob Dylan’s website. His new book The Politicians and the Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics argues that there are two keys to understanding American politics––the theme of party politics and outsider resistance to it, and the theme of economic and social egalitarianism. He argues that all positive change in American political history has happened within the system of party politics. 

On this week's episode of Think Again - a Big Think Podcast, Wilentz and host Jason Gots discuss identity politics, human life on Mars, and the culture war that began when the counterculture "won" the battle in the late '60s, and which Wilentz argues is reaching a final cataclysm with the election of 2016. 

Surprise discussion clips in this episode: Comedian Lewis Black on political correctnessBill Nye on colonizing Mars

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We surprise some of the world's brightest minds with ideas they're not at all prepared to discuss.

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