s you’ll see in the chapters ahead, partisan politics has always—always—been wrapped up in race, in ethnicity, and in questions of national identity. And every change seemed to provoke savagery. Sure, many of the violent spasms are well known: slavery, segregation, Civil War, racial riots erupting across the country for a hundred years after the Civil War. And it goes on: attacks on the Chinese in the west, Mexicans in the southwest, Irish in the northeast, and African Americans everywhere. But the unremitting scale and scope of our own pogroms have, somehow, slipped to the fringes of the national narrative—exceptions, anomalies, occasional troubles. What I learned—some colleagues will cluck at the naiveté—was that the violence was more essential, that raw violence is a basic feature of the partisan story.