Politics and History

Doors across borders.

The Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid sets his newest novel, "Exit West," in a world of permanent mass migration, in a city ripped apart by civil war. He told Steve Paulson he modeled it on his own city — Lahore, Pakistan.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

water

WisContext — a reporting collaboration between Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and the University of Wisconsin's Cooperative Extension —has done some exceptional reporting on water rights and the economics of water diversion in our home state of Wisconsin. We're sharing some of it here.

Teens march in Madison on March 14, one month since a deadly shooting in Parkland, FL.
Air Dates:
  • January 12, 2019
  • March 17, 2018

A chorus of hope is coming from an unexpected group — teenagers. They have superpowers — innocence, idealism, and Instagram — and they aren't waiting for permission to use them to shape the world.

Tyler Ruzich

Generation Z is arguably shaping up to be one of the most activist generations in recent memory. Teenager Tyler Ruzich ran in 2018 for governor of Kansas, as a Republican "for a new generation."

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