Politics and History

Adam and Eve

We decided to trace Western culture's fixation on guilt back to one of its earliest origins — the story of Adam and Eve. It's only a page and a half in the Bible, but literary historian Stephen Greenblatt told Steve Paulson why it has been so influential.More

Let’s remember that it wasn’t that long ago that liberals and conservatives were often friends. Jeanne Safer and Richard Brookhiser met during the good old days of American politics. She’s a lifelong liberal; he’s a senior editor for the conservative National Review. They’ve been happily married for more than 35 years.More

Awash in a sea of Trumpian conservativism

Charlie Sykes spent more than two decades hosting a popular conservative talk-radio show, railing against Obama and pushing Paul Ryan and Scott Walker onto the national stage. Today, he’s a Trump critic who's disillusioned with the Republican Party.More

Ken Stern

Ken Stern has lived and worked in a liberal bubble for most of his life, including his ten years as the CEO of NPR. Then, Ken decided to get out of his liberal bubble into Red America, where he found that he agreed with a lot of what he heard.More

Antigone

Writer, classicist, and stand-up comic Natalie Haynes makes a strong case for reading ancient Greek and Roman literature in the modern age.More

Women Who Rule

If our cultural and political history is a guide, women in power make us uncomfortable. We deal with that discomfort in one of two ways: making powerful women out to be villains — witches, demons, succubi, changelings — or erasing them entirely.More

USA Trilogy

Kim Stanley Robinson recommends "The Greatest Story of the 1920's That We Have: The U.S.A. Trilogy" by John Dos Passos.More

Circe

In Homer's "The Odyssey," Circe was a Greek goddess who turned Odysseus’ men into pigs. Today, Circe finally gets to tell her side of the story, thanks to novelist Madeline Miller.More

Hatshepsut statue, partially defaced

For centuries, even the memory of Hatshepsut was erased. By the men who followed her. Now, Egyptologist Kara Cooney has written about the great Egyptian queen — a woman who should have become legend — as well as the many other women who ruled ancient Egypt.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

Coney Island

Writer Leslie Parry describes what Coney Island would have sounded like during its heyday 100 years ago.More

Haleema reporting in Pakistan

You could say that the work of nation-building is never really done. Haleema Shah has been thinking about that after a recent trip to a country close to her heart — Pakistan.More

an aging world structure

The future feels unpredictable in so many places today. If you look around the world right now, seems like everyone wants their own independent nation. Are the old nation-states...toast? That’s what John Feffer worries about.More

Catalons

Catalans have a different language, flag and anthem from Spain. Some in the region are fighting for independence. Catalonia is a nation divided in cultural identity, but should it separate from Spain?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

Karl Marx

Is it time to reassess the revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx? May 5th marks the 200th birthday of the thinker, and to mark the bicentennial, we dug into our archives to feature my 2014 interview with Terry Eagleton, who says we never really understood Marx.More

What if Karl Marx were alive today and came back for a visit?  That's the premise of the one-man show "Marx in Soho," starring Brian Jones and written by the late historian Howard Zinn.More

For all that's been written about Karl Marx, there's been no book about his marriage to Jenny Marx - until now. Biographer Mary Gabriel explains why Marx's family life had a profound influence on his thinking.More

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