Published: Sept. 18, 2017

Historian and Georgetown University professor Michael KazinOn Sept. 21, CU Boulder's Center of the American West presents “Puzzled and Perplexed by Populism? An Evening of Expert Guidance” featuring American historian and Georgetown University professor Michael Kazin in a conversation with the center's faculty director Patty Limerick.

For anyone trying to figure out the temper (literally!) of our times, the term “populism” is omnipresent, seeming to adopt a different meaning at every appearance.

“Populism has an unruly past,” Kazin has written, and that quality of unruliness has taken hold as a major feature of our times. “At best,” he reminds us, “populism provides a language that can strengthen democracy, not imperil it.”

In 1995, the influential and accomplished historian authored The Populist Persuasion: An American History, an exploration of the changing meanings and practices of populism through the course of American history. 

Kazin is the author of five other books and the editor of three; he's currently working on a history of the Democratic Party to be published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. He is a former online columnist for The New Republic and has written articles and reviews for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs and many other periodicals and websites.

If you go

Who: Open to the public
What: “Puzzled and Perplexed by Populism? An Evening of Expert Guidance”
When: Thursday, Sept. 21, 6 p.m.
Where: Eaton Humanities, room 150

At the free, public event, Kazin will share his distinctive understanding of populism in the past and present, providing the audience with steady and insightful interpretations to deploy as they navigate through disorienting times.

The Center of the American West takes as its mission the creation of forums for the respectful exchange of ideas in pursuit of solutions to the region’s difficulties and believes that an understanding of the historical origins of the West’s problems, an emphasis on the common interests of all parties and a dose of good humor are essential to constructive public discussion.

For more information, visit the Center of the American West online or call 303-492-4879.