Geoffrey Cowan was interviewed by Avery Director of the Library David S. Zeidberg for an evening lecture at The Huntington. The two discussed Cowan’s new book, Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary and how the 1912 primaries relate to Cowan’s involvement in the 1968 and to the uncharacteristic primaries this presidential season.

“[During this election cycle],” said Cowan, “people are asking in a more profound and serious way, maybe – Donald Trump is asking that question, and Bernie Sanders is asking that question – ‘Are primaries fair? Is the system rigged?’ And, of course, in a way, they are rigged, and they were rigged in 1968 when I played a role in changing the rules of the Democratic Party and they were rigged to some extent in 1912, because that’s the year when Roosevelt actually won most of the primaries but didn’t get the nomination.”

Listen to the full lecture here.