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Publications and Articles

The Frank Church Institute continues Senator Church’s legacy of insightful commentary on the important issues of the day. Below are recent articles that the Frank Church Institute authors have written or where we’ve been quoted.




A Penny For Your Thoughts
Penny Gross, Fall Church News-Press

Former congressional staffer from Idaho recalls visceral reaction to Jan. 6 insurrection
Garry Wenske, Idaho Statesman

Viewpoint: Boise State study reveals high anxiety about democracy in America
Doug Petcash, KTVB

Opinion: The dangers of hyper-partisanship
Jerry Brady, The Post Register

Truth Is the First Casualty in Taking Down Our Democracy
Peter Fenn, Morning Consult Newsletter

The wages of political cowardice: Most expect further violence, many ready to use it
Bryan Clark, Idaho Statesman

Mountain Westerners share concern over democracy and misinformation
Madelyn Beck,  Boise State Public Radio

Poll shows that democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future
Peter Fenn, Idaho Statesman

The State of Democracy in Key States
The Morning Consult

OPINION: Help wanted: A patriotic Idaho leader
Marty Trilhasse, Lewiston Tribune

Frank Church conference looks at eroding trust in institutions and effect on democracy
Skip Oppenheimer and Garry Wenske

New study finds widespread concern about the health of government, democracy
Clark Corbin, Idaho Capitol Sun

How artificial intelligence systems could threaten democracy
Steven Feldstein, The Conversation

Forty years ago, Frank Church tried to end emergency government
Chase Johnson, Idaho Statesman

Sen. Risch has unique chance to guide Trump on foreign policy
Steven Feldstein, The Hill

How Artificial Intelligence is Reshaping Repression (read online)
Steven Feldstein, Journal of Democracy

Moral Failure in Libya
Steven Feldstein, Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration

How to Grill Gina Haspel
Steven Feldstein and Rear Admiral John Hutson, Croooked

Armenia Rejects the ‘Politics of Eternity’
Chase Johnson, The Conversation

Who is John Bolton and What Does he Want?
Steven Feldstein, The Conversation

Rexit: Tillerson out, Pompeo in. The future of the State Department and CIA.
Steven Feldstein, KPCC’s AirTalk

Rethinking Antifa
Steven Feldstein, The Blue Review

Fighting the Odds: The Life of Senator Frank Church

By Leroy Ashby & Rod Gramer

Fifteen years in the making, Fighting the Odds is a milestone in western political biography. Authors LeRoy Ashby and Rod Gramer take readers on a dramatic tour of post-World War II America, as experienced in Frank Church’s twenty-four years in the Senate. From 1957 to 1981, Church stood at the center of searing national debates, emerging as one of the twentieth century’s most respected and influential senators. Ashby and Gramer illuminate the battle for the 1957 Civil Rights Act, the emergence of the Senate’s anti-Vietnam coalition, conflicts over environmental legislation in the 1960s and 1970s, the fight over the Panama Canal treaties, and Church’s highly publicized investigations of the CIA, FBI, and multinational corporations. Interspersed is the gripping tale of the 1976 presidential campaign when Church, the “late, late candidate,” upset frontrunner Jimmy Carter in several key primaries. Throughout his life, Frank Church fought formidable odds. Almost dying of cancer at age twenty-four, he viewed the rest of his life as borrowed time. In 1956 he won a Senate seat, though he had never before held elective office. At thirty-two he became one of the youngest persons ever to take a seat in the U. S. Senate. He served four terms in the Senate – the only Idaho Democrat to ever serve more than one. Defeated in the Republican landslide election of 1980, Frank Church died of cancer in 1984. Fighting the Odds is “a meticulously researched, comprehensive, eminently fair biography,” according to award-winning historian William L. O’Neill. It is destined to become a classic of American political writing.

Lifelong Affair: My Passion for People and Politics

By Bethine Church

This captivating memoir by the wife of the late Idaho senator Frank Church captures the essence of what life was like when, in 1957, as a young couple, the Churches established themselves among the Washington elite and when, later, they fought battles, large and small, both in and out of the political arena. Relating her story simply and sincerely, Church acknowledges that she “was hardly the classic senator’s wife. I have often described my life in Washington as like Cinderella’s: I was either cleaning the fireplace or going to the ball.” Although Church’s role as a senator’s wife demanded active participation in Washington’s social circles, she did more than play hostess; with her political acuity (she was fascinated with politics from her school days), she often advised her husband in matters of state, earning the affectionate nickname “the third Senator from Idaho.”

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