Politics and History

Afghan carpet for sale

Anna Badkhen spent a year in the remote Afghan village of Oqa. She got to know the master weavers, who make some of the world's most beautiful carpets.More

A performer on "Afghan Star."

In the midst of chaos in her home country, Humaira Ghilzai recently sat down with Charles Monroe-Kane to talk about what might be lost culturally as the Taliban take power.More

Apache attack helicopter in approach, Sep 2020

In her book, "Against White Feminism," Pakistani Rafia Zakaria argues that white American feminists prolonged the bloodshed during the 20 year war in Afghanistan. She asks if these feminists ever asked Afghan women of the region what they wanted.More

"Poison Squad" Volunteers taking in a dinner with a side of Borax.

Science writer Deborah Blum on the government scientists who made the case for food regulation by "eating dangerously."More

Tyrone  Muhammad

Tyrone Muhammad, also known as "Muhammad the Mortician," is the funeral director at Newark’s Peace and Glory Home for Funerals. He spent decades trying to stop the epidemic of gun violence in the black community he serves, but nothing prepared him for a pandemic.More

General Sherman, AKA Karl Marx

There's a famous sequoia named General Sherman that's the biggest tree on the planet. It has its own distinctive history linked to the Civil War general and a radical anarchist group. Cultural historian Daegan Miller tells this fascinating story.More

"From War is Beautiful" by David Shields, published by powerHouse Books.

David Shields says the New York Times is complicit in romanticizing war through imagery.More

Mural of ancient soldiers returning from battle

Historian Margaret MacMillan tells Steve what war reveals about human nature.More

Mark Art, Not War

Is war inevitable? Leymah Gbowee loudly and strongly says no. And she’s got proof.More

James Nachtwey, Collapse of the South Tower, Church of St. Peter, September 22, 2001.

James Nachtwey is one of the world's great war photographers. For more than three decades, he's covered just about every major armed conflict around the world, and he's been wounded several times on the job. He talks about his harrowing work in Afghanistan, Iraq and where those wars began — Ground Zero in 2001.More

man moving steel

Alissa Quart spent the last few years traveling around the country, talking with all kinds of people about work. What she found is a lot of people with jobs that look good on paper but who feel — in a word — squeezed.More

punch the clock

When we talk about reforming work, fixing work, creating new kinds of work — author and historian James Livingston thinks perhaps we’re not going far enough. More

Henry Morton Stanley (center) meets David Livingstone (right)

Nineteenth century European explorer David Livingstone died of malaria nearly 150 years ago, but as author Petina Gappah explains, Africans are still debating his legacy today as they assess the impact of European colonialism.More

prison

Feeling regret about committing a crime matters in criminal sentencing. But if emotion isn't supposed to have a place in the law, should it matter? Susan Bandes tells us how judges and juries evaluate remorse, and why.More

Robin Wall Kimmerer (left) and Anne Strainchamps (right)

Emerging science in everything from forest ecology to the microbiome is confirming that our relationship with plants and animals is deep. Ecologist Robin Wall Kimmerer also draws on Native knowledge to explain our intimate relationships with plants.More

earth from space

Lidia Yuknavitch’s apocalyptic novel “The Book of Joan” is one of the most stunning examples of climate fiction. It’s the story of a near-future where Earth is decimated and the last few survivors are stranded out in space.More

Greenland ocean sunset

In "Our Biggest Experiment," climate advocate Alice Bell traces the history of the scientists who have been studying the impact of humanity on the climate since 1856. She tells Anne Strainchamps that science has been critical for spurring the world to act. More

basketball hoop

On Native American reservations, high school basketball is huge. They have developed a fast-paced style of play called “rez ball.” New York Times reporter Michael Powell spent a season covering the team from Chinle High School in the Navajo Nation.More

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