On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss the legacy of Woodrow Wilson, Soul Cycle, and Bernie Sanders and the history of socialism.
Princeton students have demanded the university remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from campus sites because of his racist acts as president. Natalia agreed with the historian Nathan Connolly’s request that we “write segregation and race into the story, not to write the racists out of it.” She also recommended the historian Jonathan Zimmerman’s Politico article that encouraged Princeton students to reckon more with Wilson’s complicated example.
SoulCycle’s initial public offering has attracted the attention of Wall Street investors, but the cycling brand has received steady criticism from cultural critics since its wheels first started spinning. For those interested in reading more about the history of fitness and wellness, be sure to check out Natalia’s essays on these topics.
Bernie Sanders’ bid for the Democratic Party’s nomination has raised the old question, “Why is there no socialism in America?” That question served as the title of Werner Sombart’s 1906 classic. Natalia mentioned the historian Eric Foner’s advice that Sanders should use moral language to defend socialism as Eugene Debs did in the early 20th century. Natalia also noted thatLarry David’s portrayal of Sanders on Saturday Night Live could make the senator’s Jewishness more well-known among American voters.