2020 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Documentary Now Available To Stream

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In an extremely heated election season, sometimes it’s worth taking a moment to breathe. With millions being spent in ads on both sides, it’s clear that messaging is powerful in terms of getting people to vote for your side. But has the rhetoric gotten nastier? Are we seeing a new “low” in campaign ads or is this just the nature of politics?

Historian Jill Lepore (2006 Anisfield-Wolf award winner) explored the history of presidential campaigns at the 2012 New Yorker festival. In the short clip, she compares an ad from the 2008 election to a campaign ad from 1800. Can you name a few differences? Watch the clip and see.