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Historian Presents Free Talk on New Book Exploring American Progressivism and the Coming of the New Deal

On Sunday, April 15 at 1:30pm the Museum of Work & Culture will welcome historian Robert Chiles for a free talk on his new book The Revolution of ’28: Al Smith, American Progressivism, and the Coming of the New Deal.

The Revolution of ’28 explores the career of New York governor and 1928 Democratic presidential nominee Alfred E. Smith. Chiles peers into Smith’s work and uncovers a distinctive strain of American progressivism that resonated among urban, ethnic, working-class Americans in the early twentieth century.

The book charts the rise of that idiomatic progressivism during Smith’s early years as a state legislator through his time as governor of the Empire State in the 1920s, before proceeding to a revisionist narrative of the 1928 presidential campaign, exploring the ways in which Smith’s gubernatorial progressivism was presented to a national audience.

Chiles offers a historical argument that describes the impact of this coalition on the new liberal formation that was to come with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, demonstrating the broad practical consequences of Smith’s political career.

Seating is limited to 75 and is first come, first served.

Chiles earned his PhD in History from the University of Maryland. He has published articles in leading journals including Environmental History, The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and New York History, and has taught at Loyola University Maryland and Goucher College. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Maryland.

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