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How to Fix Democracy with Jill Watts








Since its origins, democracy has been a work in progress. Today, many question its resilience. The Bertelsmann Foundation, Institute for Canadian Citizenship, and Humanity in Action have teamed up with Andrew Keen, author of How to Fix the Future, for How to Fix Democracy: a video and podcast series exploring practical responses to the threats facing democracies around the world. Host Andrew Keen interviews prominent thinkers, writers, politicians, technologists, and business leaders who enlighten and challenge us as we seek the answers to How to Fix Democracy.

How to Fix Democracy Season 5 covers 100 years of American democracy between 1924 and 2024. The season uncovers the complexities of U.S. history and asks our distinguished guests why it remains the most iconic and yet misunderstood democratic system in the world. This season is brought to you by the Bertelsmann Foundation and Humanity in Action.

In Episode 8, host Andrew Keen talks to Jill Watts, author of The Black Cabinet, about the untold story of African Americans and politics during the age of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. That history, from the end of World War I deep into the years of the New Deal, reveals high expectations and hopes followed by deep disappointments and betrayals. Challenged once again, American democracy failed to meet the needs of its African-American population and the equal benefits of citizenship. (listen | watch)

Jill Watts is a Professor Emeritus of History at California State University San Marcos where she currently teaches United States Social and Cultural History, African American History, Film History, and Digital History. Jill is the author of The Black Cabinet: The Untold Story of African Americans and Politics During the Age of Roosevelt.

This series is made possible with the kind support of the William H. Donner Foundation. Find more episodes here.