History

Cnut: Danish Warlord and Anglo-Saxon King

Timothy Bolton— The events of Cnut’s life are relatively straightforward to chronicle. He was born sometime in the decade before the year 1000 in Denmark, as the second son of its king, Sven ‘Forkbeard’, who had seized the country a decade or so before that from his own father, Harald

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The Talmud and Rabbi Akiva

Barry W. Holtz— What does it mean to live in a culture that is rooted in a foundational document, a document from an earlier time written in a language that is both archaic and at times obscure? Americans have grappled with this question for over two centuries and the prospect

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The New Power of Popular Protest

Nathan Stoltzfus— The new administration’s condemnation of dissent and the arrogation of more and more power in the president’s hands have made street protest and its images more forceful. The president made his way to power by creating images of himself with broad brush strokes vague enough to appeal to

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The Private Life of Il Duce: Mussolini and His Last Lover Claretta Petacci

R. J. B. Bosworth— During the American election campaign last year, a splendid cartoon did the rounds. It displayed Donald J. Trump dressed in military and militant uniform. His telling wedge of blond hair jutted from beneath a Fascist helmet. The caption read ‘Il Douche’. Then and now some commentators

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Why Should Speech Be Free?

Timothy Garton Ash— The fact that most states in the world have signed international treaties guaranteeing freedom of expression, and make such promises in their constitutions, does not answer the question: why should speech be free? As soon as we start trying to hold governments to their word, or debate

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Closing the Courthouse Doors to Challenges to the Trump Presidency

Erwin Chemerinsky— The first weeks of the Trump presidency demonstrate that the federal judiciary must be available as an essential check to enforce the Constitution. Already many lawsuits have been filed against President Trump and his administration, such as for violating the “emoluments clauses” of the Constitution, for the travel

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Conspicuousness/Invisibility

Sally McKee— In August, 2014, while all across the United States many African Americans and their allies protested the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, I sat at my laptop in considerable comfort in a basement apartment in Bordeaux, France. That was the summer that I finished writing

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An A to Z of Economics: Part II

Niall Kishtainy— Welcome to part two of Niall Kishtainy’s A-Z of Economics. Compiled exclusively for the Yale Books Blog to celebrate the publication of A Little History of Economics, Kishtainy’s A-Z brings to light the stories behind key economic terminology. Read on for M-Z, and if you missed A-L, you can read it

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An A to Z of Economics: Part 1

Niall Kishtainy— To celebrate the publication of A Little History of Economics, we asked its author—writer, economist and historian Niall Kishtainy—to explain some of the most important staples of economic terminology for us in a handy A-Z of Economics. This post originally appeared on the Yale University Press London blog.  Read on

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A Time for Russian-U.S. Repentance

Johh P. Burgess— Tens of thousands of people gathered in Orthodox churches throughout Russia on Sunday, February 26th. In the church that I attended, the priest spoke of a God who invites humans to confess their sins and make a new start. As dozens of flickering candles cast gentle shadows

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