Mark A. Smith did his undergraduate work at M.I.T. and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in 1997 before joining the faculty at the University of Washington. As Professor of Political Science and Adjunct Professor of Communication and Comparative Religion, he teaches courses on political parties, research methods, American political culture, and religion in American politics. Smith is the author of The Right Talk: How Conservatives Transformed the Great Society into the Economic Society. The book examines the role of economic issues and rhetoric in the conservative ascendancy over the last few decades. His first book, American Business and Political Power: Public Opinion, Elections, and Democracy, won the Leon Epstein Award from the Political Organizations and Parties section of the American Political Science Association. Smith is currently finishing another book titled Secular Faith: Why Culture Trumps Religion in American Politics. Despite what one might expect from common understandings of a “culture war,” this book argues that over time religious and secular Americans tend to converge on similar moral and political stances.