New Scholarship, Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Federal Highway Act by Charles Zug

Charles U. Zug is the author of two books. The first, Demagogues in American Politics, was published by Oxford University Press in fall 2022. His second book, Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Federal Highway Act, is forthcoming January 2024 with the University of Kansas Press.

Demagogues is receiving positive attention in academia and beyond. It was the feature of a large book release event (~150 attendees) at the University of Texas - Austin, co-hosted by the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs and the Clements Center for National Security. In January 2024, it will be the focus of an author-meets-critics panel at the Southern Political Science Conference in New Orleans. It was also featured on The Political Theory Podcast, hosted by Professor Jeffrey Church.

Demagogues was reviewed positively in Perspectives on Politics, the most prestigious book review in American political science. Here is an excerpt from the review: "This book is undoubtedly one of the most sophisticated and nuanced treatments of demagoguery available. Zug’s theoretical framework helps us delineate the features and preconditions of good and bad demagogues and compels us to take seriously leaders’ institutional obligations—how 'different jobs require different kinds of speech' (p. 10). His thesis is both hard to refute and urgent: demagoguery is not an oddity or a perversion of American politics but an endemic feature of our republic and one that can potentially invigorate our national discourse and constitutional politics."

In addition, Choice Reviews recommended it to librarians and called it a "fascinating study." Demagogues has been reviewed positively in several public facing venues including Law & Liberty, Lyceum Labs, and Sun News Austin.

In addition to these books, Charles has authored two scholarly articles in 2023. 

  • "Thank God for the Deep State: Presidential Demagoguery and the 'Unitary Executive,'" American Political Thought 12, 1 (Winter 2023): 113-140.
  • "'Giving Government to Business': Dwight Eisenhower and the Federal Highway Act," Presidential Studies Quarterly 53, 1 (March 2023): 120-136.

​He has also written two public facing articles in 2023, published in the London School of Economics American Politics Blog.

  • Congress is not the only lawmaking authority under the US Constitution.
  • Congress could elect a bipartisan non-member Speaker to break the partisan stalemate.