Tech lecture to look at historical myths in presidential campaigns

Oct 26, 2012 | General News, Liberal Arts

The role myths disguised as historical examples play in presidential campaigns is the subject Louisiana Tech associate professor of history David M. Anderson will address when he appears as the initial speaker in the department of history’s Faculty Lecture Series.
Anderson’s lecture, “Ronald Reagan’s Miracle ‘Comeback’ and Other Myths from the 1980 Presidential Election” is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30 in Wyly Tower Auditorium.
According to Anderson, there are a number of apparent historical parallels between the 1980 election and the current campaign of 2012.
“In the former case, Republican challenger, former governor Ronald Reagan of California, turned in a stellar debate performance against a Democrat incumbent, President Jimmy Carter,” he said.
Some people see a similarity between that event and the strong showing more recently by Republican candidate Mitt Romney in his first debate with President Barack Obama.
“And you can add to that the fact that the country was experiencing hard economic times back in the Carter years, just as it is now,” Anderson said.
Questions Anderson will address in his lecture include whether such perceived parallels hold up to serious historical study, and, even if they do so, do they really matter in determining the outcomes of elections.
A member of the Louisiana Tech faculty since 2003, Anderson holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from the University of Nevada—Las Vegas and received his doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  At Louisiana Tech, Anderson teaches courses in modern U.S. social, cultural and political history.
Focusing on current public and world affairs, the goal of the History Faculty Lecture Series is to inform the Louisiana Tech community and the general public about the historical background of current events. The Faculty Lecture Series is sponsored by the Department of History and by Lambda-Rho Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society.
Admission is free and the public is invited.