The transition of power between one U.S. president and the next typically goes off without a hitch — full of decorum, tradition and stability. The current transition between President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden, however, has been anything but typical. On this month’s episode of The Backdrop, historian Eric Rauchway discusses how history can help inform this turbulent presidential transition, including parallels with the transfer of power from Herbert Hoover to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He also offers perspectives on the consequences of chaotic transitions and the deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol by a violent pro-Trump mob.
Eric Rauchway, a Distinguished Professor of history at UC Davis, is a leading scholar of FDR. His expertise includes U.S. policy, social and economic history from the Civil War through the Second World War. He is the author of several books, including most recently, Winter War: Hoover, Roosevelt, and the First Clash Over the New Deal.
The Backdrop podcast is a monthly interview program featuring conversations with UC Davis scholars and researchers working in the social sciences, humanities, arts and culture. It is available free, on demand at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music/Audible, TuneIn and YouTube. The Backdrop is hosted by public radio veteran Soterios Johnson.