In this bonus episode, Slow Burn host Josh Levin and producer Christopher Johnson discuss the 1991 Louisiana governor’s race and interview Edwin Edwards. Then we’ll hear an interview with writer and New Orleans native Clint Smith and the Atlantic’s Vann R. Newkirk II, the host of Floodlines, about the parallels they see between David Duke’s rise and what happened with Hurricane Katrina.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a white supremacist became an American political phenomenon. David Duke’s rise to power and prominence—his election to the Louisiana Legislature, and then his campaigns for the U.S. Senate and the governorship—was an existential crisis for the state and the nation. The fourth season of Slate’s Slow Burn will explore how a Nazi sympathizer and former Klansman fashioned himself into a mainstream figure, and why some voters came to embrace his message. It will also examine how activists, journalists, and ordinary citizens confronted Duke’s candidacy, and what it took to stop him.
The season is hosted by Josh Levin, a longtime Slow Burn editor and native Louisianian.