Politics and History

Jukebox hero

In 1985, The New Yorker writer Susan Orlean started traveling around the country to find out how Americans spend their Saturday nights. One thing she discovered? How many Saturday night songs there are.
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Still in bed

People in every century, every age have complained about feeling exhausted. What’s changed over time are the explanations. Cultural historian Anna Katharina Schaffner lays them out in her new history of exhaustion, "Exhaustion: A History."More

Jet Lag

Christopher J. Lee says jet lag has become more than a temporarily scrambled body clock. It’s become a way of life.More

Scythians at the Tomb of Ovid c.1640 (CC0)

When Donna Zuckerberg noticed references to classical writers popping up on neo-Nazi and white supremacist websites, she decided to investigate. Why are they so invested in the classics?More

The parthenon

As a French-Tunisian Muslim and political scientist, Nadia Marzouki has come to believe that Americans are actually ambivalent about some of our own sacred values - like freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Even democracy.More

Black Lives Matter is just one movement whose online presence took root among black Twitter users.

One person’s bubble can be another person’s safe space — a place where you don’t have to pretend and where you can feel supported and understood. For many black Americans, that place is Twitter. Media scholar Meredith Clark explains why.More

American economist James Buchanan won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Historian Nancy Maclean wanted to know where the billionaire Koch brothers got their libertarian ideas, and she found that the economist James Buchanan was a huge influence. She says most people don’t realize just how disruptive these ideas are.More

"Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government's Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis" book cover

Joe McMoneagle was a "remote viewer" for the U.S. military. Using ESP — or was it a clever magic trick? — he identified the Soviet's secret Shark submarine. McMoneagle and journalist Annie Jacobsen recount this history of government psychics.More

"Prayers for the Stolen" by Jennifer Clement

The recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature recommends Jennifer Clement's novel about teenage girls surviving the violence of cartel-controlled Mexican border villages in "Prayers for the Stolen."More

Student activist and Raza studies student Pricila from the film "Precious Knowledge."

Teachers Curtis Acosta and Jose Gonzalez explain the origins of Tucson's Mexican-American Studies program—and how their personal histories in school led them to teach these courses.More

John Carlos, Tommie Smith, and Peter Norman at the 1968 Olympic games.

Before "taking a knee," there was the fist. More

Football game

Author Steve Almond wrestles with the ugly undertones of America's favorite sport.More

In the shadows, reflecting on violence.

In 2011, Mac McClelland was reporting on reconstruction in Haiti when she witnessed another woman's traumatic flashback. Just seeing the horror in that woman's face was enough to traumatize Mac.More

reflecting on a bus

Journalist Jim Rendon tells producer Rehman Tungekar that resilence in the face of trauma is actually quite common.More

Touching glass in a rainstorm

Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk is studying the healing power of helping people with post traumatic stress disorder focus less on telling their stories, and more on how their stories feel — how they sound, look, or smell.More

A war plane flies.

The title of political scientist Benjamin Ginsberg's book says it all, “The Worth of War.” In it, he argues that war has greatly benefited civilization.More

Joao Silva/The New York Times/Redux. 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

dogtags

Revenge is a major theme in Elliot Ackerman’s debut novel “Green on Blue.” The novel is told from the point-of-view of an Afghan boy named Aziz who’s seeking to avenge his brother Ali.More

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