top of page
  • NYS Writers Institute

Telling the Truth 2020: "Red Fighting Blue" with David Hopkins

"Biden, I think, personally, will not be as polarizing a figure. I don’t think he will set out to be that kind of leader. But there’s only so much he can say to the Republicans to win them over... And of course, Trump will be tweeting from the sidelines and stirring things up in his own way.”

-- David Hopkins

Welcome to Day 7 of Telling the Truth 2020, the New York State Writers Institute's virtual symposium on politics, tribalism, polarization, and the future of democracy.

For today's featured event, NYS Writers Institute Director Paul Grondahl talks with David Hopkins, author of Red Fighting Blue: How Geography and Electoral Rules Polarize American Politics, about the presidential election and what we can expect in the next four years.

Hopkins' book, Red Fighting Blue: How Geography and Electoral Rules Polarize American Politics (2017), explains how and why the American electoral map has become deeply and persistently divided into red states and blue states, and explores the important consequences of this trend for candidate strategy, party competition, political polarization, and the functioning of American government.

We proudly support independent and local booksellers. You may purchase Red Fighting Blue at The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.

Fans of political talk may be interested in an event from our 2017 Telling the Truth symposium presented at the University at Albany. Speakers at the "Dirty Deeds: Election Mischief, Cybercrimes & Civil Liberties" panel discussion included David Daley, author of Ratf**ed: The True Story Behind the Secret Plans to Steal America’s Democracy, and Kelley Vlahos, managing editor of The American Conservative and political writer for Fox News.


“It’s our hope that Telling the Truth 2020 will be a force for good and will provide a public service by bringing together experts with a wide range of perspective. We want these events to be conversations of healing, of finding common ground, and of listening respectfully to viewpoints different than our own. We hope this weeklong symposium will build bridges of empathy rather than erecting more walls of fear and hatred.”

-- Paul Grondahl, Director of the NYS Writers Institute.

All events are free and open to the public. No registration required.

Events will be available at ​Videos will premiere at 11 a.m. and can be viewed at your convenience at any time following their launch. Many of the conversations were recorded before Election Day. More at at

Telling the Truth 2020 is the Writers Institute’s third major event of the fall season, following the Albany Book Festival in September and the Time for Reckoning Symposium in October. It is also the third time the Institute has turned its attention to issues of truth-telling, journalism, and ethics. A three-day Telling the Truth in a Post-Truth World event was held in 2017 and Telling the Truth: A Symposium on the Craft of Nonfiction took place in 1991.

Telling the Truth 2020 is presented by the New York State Writers Institute with special thanks to The Maguire Family Endowment at the NYSWI, The Opalka Family Endowment, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany, The University at Albany Foundation, and WAMC Northeast Public Radio.


bottom of page