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One Day University: History and Politics (St. Petersburg, FL)

March 18, 2017 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM


9:30 AM - 10:40 AM
Our Broken Two Party System: Can American Politics be Fixed?

Robert Watson / Lynn University

The American congress and presidency are the most powerful political offices in the world. However, most contemporary politicians have found themselves severely constrained in their ability to pursue their chosen agendas for domestic and foreign policy change.

This lecture will explain why, focusing on the nature of government bureaucracy, the range of American challenges and commitments, and the development of the modern media. Rather than dissecting particular policies, the focus will be on how the power of Congress and the President has changed over time and what that has meant for American society. The lecture will close with reflections for how we can improve leadership in future years.

Robert Watson / Lynn University
Robert Watson is the Distinguished Professor of American History at Lynn University. A frequent media commentator, he has been interviewed by CNN, MSNBC, "Time," "USA Today," "The New York Times," and the BBC and others, and has appeared on C-SPAN's "Book TV," "Hardball with Chris Matthews," and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." He has received multiple Professor of the Year awards at Lynn and other universities, and published 40 books on topics in history and politics. His book "America's First Crisis" won the book of the year award in history at the Independent Publishers' awards and his book "The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn" won the Commodore Barry Book Award.

10:55 AM - 12:05 PM



12:20 PM - 1:30 PM
1968: The Extraordinary Events of a Memorable Year

Leonard Steinhorn / American University

The Sixties. It was a decade of hope -- and disillusionment. A time of promise -- and backlash. An era animated by youthful idealism -- and frustrated by political disappointment. We entered the decade inspired by a president, stirred by a dream, and dancing innocently to "I Want to Hold Your Hand." We ended the decade still clinging to those hopes and ideals, but sobered by the realities of a brutal war, bloodied protesters, burning cities, and a nation and culture coming apart.

No other year better encapsulates the narrative of the Sixties than 1968. It was a year when young people went Clean for Gene in the New Hampshire primary -- and then got tear gassed in Chicago. When the country looked to larger-than-life leaders to guide us out of war and division -- and then saw them felled by assassins' bullets. When many hoped that a Kennedy would return to the White House -- and instead we got a Nixon. In 1968, we saw a political party that represented the common folk get torn asunder by cultural and racial hostilities. We saw no light at the end of the tunnel in Vietnam. We saw Black Power meet law and order. We saw an America barely anyone would have recognized just a few years back. 1968 was like an electrical storm that hit our country, one that hot-wired every interaction, conversation, and event. And it put a charge in the emerging culture war that would define American politics and culture for decades to come. To understand the Sixties generation -- and who we are as a nation -- it is essential to journey through 1968 and see how that seminal year shaped and influenced our history.

Leonard Steinhorn / American University
Leonard Steinhorn is a professor of communication and affiliate professor of history at American University. He currently serves as a political analyst for CBS News in Washington, D.C. He is the author of "The Greater Generation: In Defense of the Baby Boom Legacy," and co-author of "By the Color of Our Skin: The Illusion of Integration and the Reality of Race," books that have generated widespread discussion and debate. Professor Steinhorn's writings have been featured in several publications, including The Washington Post, Salon, Politico, and Huffington Post. He has twice been named Faculty Member of the Year at AU.


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