Allan Winkler is a professor emeritus of history at Miami University in Ohio. He is the author of The Politics of Propaganda: The Office of War Information, 1942-1945 (1978); Home Front, U.S.A.: America During World War II (1986); Life Under a Cloud: American Anxiety About the Atom (1993); and Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Making of Modern America (2006). His most recent book is "To Everything There Is a Season": Pete Seeger and the Power of Song (2009).
In this lecture, Winkler looks at past presidential transitions, where one party took over from another relatively smoothly, and provides context for the dramatically different situation today: Wilson’s assumption of power after TR and Taft FDR taking over from Hoover Ike succeeding Harry Truman Reagan following Jimmy Carter Obama taking over from George W. Bush Even though there were, in each case, significant differences, the transition was smooth, with certain basic values informing the process. Such does not seem to be the case today, and the larger question is Why Not? And what might be the consequences.