Politics and History

Man along an unnamed road in Obafemi Owode, Nigeria.

Chigozie Obioma grew up in Nigeria — he’s a novelist and teaches at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. He says that despite rampant corruption, poverty, and an HIV/AIDS crisis, Nigerians are definitely more optimistic than most. He explains why.More

Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker presents a Dangerous Idea: things today are actually better than they've ever been.More

The Schlitz Bottling Floor, c. 1666.

Milwaukee has a reputation as America's "Brew City." But why? Historian Ben Barbera lays out the economic forces and acts of God that built the houses of Miller, Pabst and Schlitz.More

Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail.

Sean Wilentz is a leading American historian and a proud liberal. Steve Paulson asked for his take on the new pink tint in Democratic politics.More

Margery Kempe was one of the world's most famous Christian mystics — a medieval pilgrim with a penchant for uncontrollable sobbing. More

An aerial shot of the Garden Homes neighborhood in Milwaukee.

Could socialism ever really take off in America? Half a century ago, socialists ruled a major American city — Milwaukee. Haleema Shah walks the streets of Wisconsin's biggest city to learn more about what socialist policy looked like on the ground.More

we are the 99 percent

Bernie Sanders may be the public face of American socialism, but if you really want to understand its exploding popularity, you need to understand its pull among millennials, explains Bhaskar Sunkara, the founder and editor of Jacobin magazine. ​​​​​More

Elizabeth Feinler, Radia Perlman, and Stacy Horn.

You know the Apple origin story with the two Steves in the garage. You know the Facebook origin story with Mark Zuckerberg in his dorm. But journalist Claire Evans argues, if you want to tell the internet origin story, you have to talk about women.More

The Lucky Inn in Center of the World, Ohio

Amidst economic devastation, producer Charles Monroe-Kane asks what it takes to survive in the Rust Belt.More

Yanis Varoufakis

You’re the finance minister of a small bankrupt nation. It's 2015 and the biggest financial power in Europe is forcing you into a deal you know will ruin your country. What do you do? Yanis Varoufakis said "no."More

Avery Trufelman

Avery Trufelman hosts "Articles of Interest," a six-part podcast from "99 Percent Invisible" about some iconic items of clothing — from blue jeans to Hawaiian shirts to pockets. Anne wanted to know how that work connects to what she wears every day.More

Girls in pink, boys in blue

Historian Jo Paoletti speaks with Shannon about gender's ever-changing relationship with fashion.More

Art from Ingrid La Fleur's Afrofuturist mayoral campaign in Detroit. (Ingrid La Fleur)

Artist, activist, and Afrofuturist Ingrid La Fleur recommends collection of books, films and artists for those interested in understanding Afrofuturism as an aesthetic and as a movement.More

Christian Picciolini recounts his experience leaving the white supremacist hate group.

Charles Monroe-Kane talks with Christian Picciolini about his campaign to de-program white supremacists, including Richard Spencer, the most prominent face of American white supremacy today.More

A screenshot from "One Hour, One Life"

In "One Hour, One Life," you start as a naked newborn. The only way you can survive even the first three minutes is if another player — a stranger — adopts you. It’s a surprisingly powerful experience – but that’s what Jason Rohrer is famous for designing.More

Pop culture's constant barrage of ironic detachment

In 2012, Princeton University professor Christy Wampole wrote a New York Times column that every hipster everywhere instantly hated it — but it struck a chord with people who had grown tired of pop culture dominated by self-awareness and snark.More

A US passport.

Countries around the world pour money into policing their borders — with walls real or virtual — while a global black market smuggles people across them for money. Artist Molly Crabapple imagines another way.More

Mariela Shaker

In 2013, violinist Mariela Shaker escaped the Syrian Civil War and relocated to the US, moving from Aleppo, a city of 2 million, to a small Illinois town of less than 10,000.More

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