Harvard professor Jill Lepore discussed the themes of voter empowerment in Geoffrey Cowan’s book Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary for her New Yorker article “How to Steal an Election.”

Lepore has called Let the People Rule “the best new discussion of the primary system,” and her new article details the history of the party nomination process while referencing 1912:

The election of 1912 was the first in which a significant number of delegates to the nominating Conventions were elected in state primaries, as Geoffrey Cowan writes in ‘Let the People Rule,’ a book that takes its title from Theodore Roosevelt’s campaign slogan. Roosevelt wanted to wrest the Republican nomination from the incumbent President, William Taft, and saw the primaries as his only chance. ‘The great fundamental issue now before the Republican Party and before our people can be stated briefly,’ he said. ‘It is: Are the American people fit to govern themselves, to rule themselves, to control themselves? I believe they are. My opponents do not.’

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