History

What the Soviet Story Teaches Us about Sincerity

Ellen Rutten— Concerns about sincere expression matter hard today. Social media and e-services are transforming the meaning of trust – in both bad ways (online frauds, hacker interventions) and good (when that cut-rate Airbnb apartment turns out to be as homely and lovely as you expected). Spin doctors and fake news makers

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On Writing “William the Conqueror”

David Bates— Since William the Conqueror was published, I have often been asked how long it took me to write the book. Although the actual answer is fifteen years, I often reply that it has taken both fifty and three years. For all that this is an inaccurate answer—some might

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Are Adversarialism and Justice One and the Same?

Amalia D. Kessler— For many, if not most Americans, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s is all but synonymous with the iconic litigation that led to the United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.  Indeed, for many generations of lawyers and social movement activists, the

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The Heart of the Abolitionist Movement

Manisha Sinha— Caricatured as unthinking, single-minded fanatics who caused a “needless war,” abolitionists are often compared unfavorably to political moderates and compromise-minded statesmen. Their resurrection as freedom fighters during the modern civil rights era has been relatively brief. It is often dismissed as neoabolitionist history. While a bland celebration of

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Translating a Sixteenth-Century Sufi Advice Book

Adam Sabra— Most of what Western readers know about Islamic political thought pertains to institutions such as the caliphate and sultanate or to the role of Islamic law in the construction of an Islamic society and polity. But if we examine texts that are older than our daily newspapers, we

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Asian Migration and the History of Now

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials— On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The order, which banned nationals of seven countries from entering the United States, originally extended to dual citizens, green card holders, and those already

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The Women Who Made the Modern Children’s Book World

Timothy Young— The history of children’s books is still being written. While there are important writers working in the field, much needs to be done to bring the rigor of mature literary, sociological, and historical investigation to this relatively young field of study. One of the challenges to research is

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Reconstructing the Vietnam Peace Movement

Tom Hayden— It is time for a new effort to reverse the propaganda about Vietnam and our movement to end the war. It is time for truth telling, for healing, and for legacy. Who will tell our story when we are gone? So much has already escaped memory, and now

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Women and (Soft) Power: Jackie Kennedy and Blanche of Castile

Lindy Grant— Last night I went to see the new film Jackie, in which Natalie Portman gives a searing portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy in the immediate aftermath of her husband’s death. It made me think of the similarities and differences between Jackie Kennedy and Blanche of Castile, the queen of France who lived

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A Republic If You Can Keep It

Richard D. Brown— In 1787 when Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention a lady famously asked “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” “A republic,” Franklin replied tartly, “if you can keep it.” Now, 230 years later, Franklin’s observation on our Founders’ great experiment haunts us.

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