In the year since Trump’s election, the president’s ability to do damage has been “substantially checked”—by the courts, and even more by citizen activism, says David Cole. He’s The Nation’s legal correspondent, and also legal director of the ACLU; he reviews the current state of Supreme Court litigation on voting rights, the Muslim travel ban, and other key issues.

Also: 2016 was a bad year in American politics, but 1968 was worse, says Lawrence O’Donnell, the MSNBC host. That was the year Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey, guaranteeing that the war in Vietnam would continue. O’Donnell’s new book is Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics.”

Plus: Hillbilly Elegy, the best-selling memoir by J.D. Vance, is often taken as a good explanation of the white working-class rage that led to Trump’s election. But Steven Hahn doesn’t agree—he says the book “has the feel of a college application essay,” a simplistic caricature of family dysfunction and the author’s efforts to escape and achieve. Hahn, professor of history at NYU, wrote about “The Rage of White Folks” for The Nation’s Fall Books issue.

Lawrence O’Donnell on 1968

Steven Hahn on Hillbilly Elegy