Called "one of our most commanding interpreters of recent American experience" by The Nation, Jefferson Cowie is the James G. Stahlman Professor at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics (2016); Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class (2010), winner of several "best book" awards, including the Francis Parkman Prize and the OAH Merle Curti Awards; and Capital Moves: RCA's Seventy Year Quest for Cheap Labor (2001), which won the Phillip Taft Labor History Book Award. Cowie's essays and opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, the American Prospect, the New Republic, Dissent, and other popular publications. He has also appeared in a variety of media outlets, including C‐SPAN's "Booknotes" and NPR’s "Weekend Edition," as well as documentaries. He is currently working on a short book on the New Deal and a long book on the global history of the wage.
This talk uses Springsteen's music and performance style to discuss some of the thornier issues of American political theory. Touching on thinkers including Tocqueville, Dewey, and Rorty, the talk serves as playful introduction to a serious subject.