Harvey J. Kaye is Professor of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.  He is the author of Thomas Paine and the Promise of America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005) and The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great (Simon & Schuster, 2014).  Follow him on Twitter.


Take notes, progressives. As documented in the new book A Just and Generous Nation, the Great Emancipator’s vision of America’s exceptionalism rested on its civil equality and economic democracy.


Who would Jefferson have liked best: FDR, Reagan—or the Tea Party? Three new books look at Americans’ never-ending fixation with what our formative figures would want us to do.


When FDR died just a few months into his fourth term he had transformed American life in nearly every way. His achievements, and the obstacles he overcame, should not be forgotten.

Team Work

A new history say a lot of what we think we know about Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society is wrong. For starters it was a group effort with a huge assist from the Greatest Generation.


George Washington entered the Revolution as a member of Virginia’s planter aristocracy who still toasted the king. He emerged at its end thinking of himself as American.

Missed Opportunity

A rush to judgment is not inevitable when a historian weighs in on a sitting president, but how did Morton Keller get so many things wrong in his study of Obama?