"Progressivism in America: Past, Present, and Future"

Associate Professor of History and Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow David Woolner co-edits new book on progressive politics

Watch Dr. Woolner discuss his new book below in the inaugural episode of "Faculty Focus," a new video interview series

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (Jan. 19, 2016) – Dr. David Woolner, Marist Associate Professor of History and Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, is the co-editor, along with Dr. John M. Thompson, of a new collection of essays, Progressivism in America: Past, Present, and Future (Oxford University Press, 2016), the first book to offer a comprehensive overview of progressive politics, combining historical analysis, a discussion of policy priorities today, and a survey of the challenges ahead. 

The book stems from a conference Woolner and the Roosevelt Institute organized with the Clinton Institute for American Studies at University College Dublin, where Thompson is a lecturer, to look at comparisons between the Great Depression and subsequent progressive era led by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and contemporary responses to the Great Recession of 2008. 

In this first video in the new "Faculty Focus" interview series, Dr. David Woolner discusses his new book and what Bernie Sanders might mean for the future of progressive politics in America.

"We really felt it would be a good time to bring people together to talk about the similarities between those two eras and what, if anything, policy makers should be doing about it," Woolner said, "what lessons might they learn from the experience of the progressive era, from the experience of the 1920s that could be applied to today's world." 

Woolner is also co-author, with historian and author Alan Brinkley, of one of the book's essays, "Franklin Roosevelt and the Progressive Tradition." He is one of the foremost experts on FDR and the modern American presidency.

Also featuring essays by leading scholars, analysts and commentators, including E.J. Dionne, Jonathan Alter, Joseph Stiglitz and Rosa Brooks, the book looks at the factors that may lead the U.S. in a more progressive direction and away from the conservative agenda that has dominated our politics for the past several decades.  

Robert D. Johnston of the University of Illinois at Chicago and co-editor of  Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era has said that “Progressivism in America superbly accomplishes what too few of us even try, much less do well: carefully and insightfully connect past and present...It is not too much to say that presidential candidates as well as ordinary citizens should read this outstanding collection.”

Woolner is co-editor of three other books, including FDR’s World: War, Peace and Legacies (Palgrave, 2008); FDR and the Environment (Palgrave, 2005); and FDR, the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church in America, 1933-1945 (Palgrave, 2003); and is the editor of The Second Quebec Conference Revisited: Waging War, Formulating Peace; Canada, Great Britain and the United States in 1944-1945 (Palgrave/St. Martin’s Press, 1998). He earned his Ph.D and M.A. in history from McGill University and a B.A. summa cum laude in English Literature and History from the University of Minnesota.