History professor explores impact of senator, Vietnam War critic George McGovern in new biography

SMU News

Originally Posted: February 12, 2016

DALLAS (SMU)For Americans who came of age in the turbulent 60s and 70s, George McGovern is largely remembered as a failed Democratic presidential hopeful whose 1972 candidacy was pegged to his opposition to the Vietnam War.  In the first major biography of McGovern, one of two planned volumes, SMU History Professor Thomas Knock fills in the early story about a man whose life and career he calls “as compelling as any Cold War president.”

Knock will discuss The Rise of a Prairie Statesman: The Life and Times of George McGovern (Princeton University Press) at 6 p.m.  Wednesday, Feb. 17, in SMU’s McCord Auditorium in room 306 of Dallas Hall, 3225 University Blvd. The event is free, open to the public, and is sponsored by SMU’s Center for Presidential History and the George W. Bush Library and Museum. Registration is requested at http://blog.smu.edu/cph/events/the-life-and-times-of-george-mcgovern/. READ MORE

Evan McCormick, Center for Presidential History, fluent in Spanish and available to discuss the presidential race with Spanish-speaking media platforms.

The following is an excerpt from an SMU news release. READ MORE

Republican rhetoric on immigration bodes well for Democrats in November
Evan McCormickEVAN McCORMICK
emccormick@smu.edu

In the grand scheme of the presidential race, McCormick doesn’t think either party has a candidate who has transcended their party’s general acceptance by the Latin-American community in the United States.

“The way immigration has become a security issue for the Republican party has alienated most Latino voters, with the exception of Cubans in Florida, who still vote Republican because of their distaste for the Castro regime,” McCormick says. “The Democrats seem to be most well-positioned to have a productive relationship with Mexico and other Latin American countries.

“Like Republicans, Democrats are also looking for policy solutions to undocumented migrants, but with fewer security measures and more long-term cooperation and planning,” McCormick adds.

Evan McCormick is conversationally fluent in Spanish.

McCormick is a resident fellow of the Center for Presidential History at SMU who can discuss:

  • border security
  • international trade in the Americas
  • U.S.-Latin American relations
  • international diplomacy

Dedman College professors weigh in on Trump and the final GOP debate

SMU News

Originally Posted: January 28, 2016

Below is an excerpt from an SMU news release:
Trump’s biggest gamble yet? 
GOP frontrunner backs out of final debate before Iowa, N.H. votes

SMU experts are available for interview on all things debatable in connection with tonight’s prime time matchup GOP contest, the final debate before Republicans cast their votes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Matthew-Wilson-lg

MATTHEW WILSON:

WHEN EVANGELICALS VOTE WITH THEIR WALLETS, TRUMP WINS

214-335-5447, jmwilson@smu.edu

Despite a highly publicized flubbing of a Bible verse at Liberty University on Jan. 18. Trump continues to dominate the polls in Iowa, where evangelical voters are notorious for holding sway, leaving many experts – and rivals – flummoxed that such a traditionally strong voting block has been fractured by the real estate mogul’s camp.

“Anyone who looks at the situation can see Trump is not a profoundly religious person,” Wilson says. “It’s surprising how many evangelical voters seem not to care about that very much when there are committed Christians in the field.”

At one point, Cruz appeared most ready to turn the evangelical vote into a caucus victory, but his one-time lead has evaporated under a barrage of attacks from Trump.

“Part of the reason (Trump’s) been able to reach evangelical voters is a lot of them, when push comes to shove, care more about other issues than religious concerns,” Wilson says. “They care more about immigration positions or anti-terror positions. Not all evangelicals swing that way, but enough for Trump to do OK despite his religious unorthodoxies.”

Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science

    • Can Discuss:

religion and politics
political psychology
voting behavior of religious voters
public opinion and politics

 

Jeffrey-A-Engel

JEFFREY ENGEL:

CRUZ-TRUMP FEUD DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN THE BROMANCE IS OVER

979-450-9437, jaengel@mail.smu.edu

The once-cordial relationship between Cruz and Trump went out the window when Cruz threatened Trump’s lead in Iowa this month, but Engel says the recent animosity between the two doesn’t mean the rivals can’t be friends again in the future.

“We should remember one of the most vicious and heated Republican primaries occurred in 1980 when the two finalists were Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush,” Engel says. “Bush spent a lot of time debunking Regan’s views and even came up with the term, ‘voodoo economics,’ which became the go-to insult for Reaganomics. Despite that, they were able to reconcile at the convention and Bush even served as Reagan’s vice president.”

“The Trump-Cruz rivalry will get a lot uglier before it gets better, but no matter what we see in terms of them tearing each other down for the primary, they could still work together again down the road,” Engel adds.

Engel is director of the SMU Center for Presidential History

          • Can Discuss:

comparison’s to past presidential races
foreign policy
presidential rhetoric

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Jeffrey Engel, History, How the Democratic Candidates Did

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Jeffrey Engel, an award-winning American historian and director of the Center for Presidential History at SMU, weighs the showings of the three Democratic candidates – Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley – in the January 25, 2016, town hall.

Jeffrey Engel, History, State of the Union speech “surprisingly confrontational”

Fox 4

Originally Posted: January 13, 2016

Jeffrey Engel, an award-winning American historian and director of the Center for Presidential History at SMU, analyzes President Obama’s final State of the Union speech, calling it “surprisingly confrontational.”

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History Ph.D. writes about the history of Latino conservatism

News Taco

Originally Posted: December 17, 2015

By Aaron Sanchez, Commentary & Cuentos

Aaron E. Sanchez is the editor of Commentary and Cuentos, a blog focused on issues of race, politics, and popular culture from a Latino perspective. The posts place these issues in historical, cultural, and intellectual context to better understand our present. Aaron received his Ph.D. in history from Southern Methodist University. He is a happy husband, proud father, and an avid runner.

The coming presidential election has brought Latinos into the spotlight. Primarily, Democratic presidential hopefuls have reached out to the community, hiring key immigration activists and political actors. Yet, it is the Republican Party that has brought forward two Latino presidential candidates, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. But how did a party known most recently for its anti-immigrant stance produce the first two Latino presidential candidates? Many have wondered about how Latinos could be conservatives or if Latino conservatism is an oxymoron. United Farm Worker Union (UFW) co-founder Dolores Huerta even called them “sellouts,” a term with a long history associated with elected Latino officials. Luis Valdez, founder of Teatro Campesino, a Chicano theater troupe associated with the UFW, wrote a 1967 play called “Los Vendidos” aimed at Mexican-American appointees of Ronald Reagan, who was then governor of California. READ MORE

SMU is closed December 24-January 1. Have a safe and happy holiday!

HappyHolidays

SMU books fulfill your holiday gift giving list

Books published in 2015 by the SMU community, including faculty, staff, alumni, libraries and museum, can complete your holiday gift list.

Need to satisfy a history buff? This list has it covered in genres from art to film to science to the Southwest. Find selections for readers of poetry, as well as personal, political and travel memoir. There’s a cookbook for foodies. A photography collection showcases the American West. Arty crime capers are filled with mystery and intrigue to the end. There’s even a literary riff in the form of a card game based on a classic novel.

This collection has something for all reading preferences, from light to serious. Some selections are available at the SMU bookstore, but all are available via online booksellers unless otherwise noted. Authors are listed alphabetically. READ MORE