Politics and History

The Maraniss family in 1952, shortly after Elliott went before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

There’s a word that’s popping up a lot lately — McCarthyism. Are there really parallels today to the censorship that dominated America during that period? To find out, journalist and historian David Maraniss decided to dig up his own family history.More

College students on the left are demanding protection from words and ideas they consider harmful. Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt worries that the end result will be a generation that doesn’t know how to have real debates or constructive arguments.More

medieval knight

Medievalist Dorothy Kim argues that colleagues in her field need to speak out against hate speech being cloaked in iconography of the Middle Ages. An argument that has earned her harassment, hate, and violent threats from the self-described "alt-right."More

Flint corn

Botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer says there is a reason so many around the world consider corn to be sacred. We give it life, and in return, it gives us life. She says the industrial-scale farming of America has lost control of that balance.More

A powwow in 2015 at the Institute for American Indian Arts.

Tommy Orange's debut novel “There There” was one of the big breakout books of 2018. He told Steve that with his novel, he hoped to better represent modern Native Americans that have grown up living in cities.More

Person at the Institute for American Indian Arts.

A wide range of writers — now celebrated with commercial and critical success — work to celebrate an evolving literary canon without limiting it. 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

Studs Terkel in studio

Studs Terkel talked with people from of all walks of life about their work, from firefighters, to steel workers, to labor activist Cesar Chavez. As part of a whole radio hour examining work, we hear snippets of Terkel's wisdom on how life for blue collar workers has changed over the years.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

boxer

Producer Charles Monroe-Kane on how the boxing world has sidestepped brain injury in the ring.More

Throughout history, there’s been a general, unspoken agreement that getting angry, especially for women, is something to be avoided. But author Rebecca Traister tells us that we should value anger as a catalyst for societal change.More

Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin traced the history of feminist anger and power in their new book, “Unladylike: A Field Guide to Smashing the Patriarchy and Claiming Your Space.”More

books

Can we ever know how people used to read, say, 500 years ago? Princeton historian Tony Grafton is obsessed with that question.More

Aimee Mullins

Aimee Mullins is an athlete, fashion model and activist who uses whichever of her 12 pair of prosthetic legs is appropriate for the task at hand.More

motor bike lady

Commentator Erika Monroe-Kane reflects on the appeal of driving really fast. Really fast.More

boxing woman

Kate Sekules is a magazine editor, fiction and travel writer, restaurant reviewer and the last person who ever thought she’d find herself in a boxing ring. Until she did.More

Writer Kerry Howley on the appeal of mixed martial arts.More

fighter

Ever wonder what goes through the mind of a fighter in the moments before a fight? Here's one take, courtesy of writer Jonathan Gottschall.More

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