Bruce Ackerman— Begin on an optimistic note: Americans of the twenty-first century are much better equipped for citizenship than their counterparts were at the dawning of the Progressive era. About 10 percent of young Americans graduated high school in 1910; it was almost 80 percent a century later. The length
Brian C. Kalt— Practicalities As they were designing the presidency, the delegates at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 discussed hypothetical criminal presidents. In recent decades—the era of the independent counsel—things have gotten less hypothetical, with serious investigations affecting Presidents Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush. Nixon and Clinton came closest
Richard D. Brown— “We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal,” President Trump just declared. “We are equal,” he said, “in the eyes of our creator, we are equal under the law, and we are equal under our Constitution.” These words are true.
Emily Katz Anhalt— The ancient Greeks were open-minded without being tolerant. They didn’t devise the world’s first-ever democracy by tolerating everything. Their unprecedented transition from tribalism to civil society derived from their eagerness to ask questions and their determination to judge others and themselves critically. Open-mindedness and the desire to
Mark Oppenheimer— When I published Knocking on Heaven’s Door: American Religion in the Age of Counterculture, in 2003, the field of the 1960s was still relatively under-studied, the field of American religion in the 1960s in particular. Flying somewhat blind, I made the argument that the revolution in American religion in
Sanford Levinson— Federalist 65: The Senate’s Confirmation and Impeachment Powers One of the most important distinction between the Senate and House, with regard to their constitutionally granted powers, concerns the former’s unique role in confirming presidential appointments. It is utterly irrelevant, as a formal matter, what the House thinks about
On July 31, 2012, Gore Vidal died at his home in in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles, where he had moved in 2003, the same year that Yale University Press published his acute observations on our founding fathers in the acclaimed Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams, Jefferson. In The
Bernd Brunner— History often rewards great breakthroughs but ignores the preparatory steps that made those achievements possible. The Apollo program, for instance, has been documented in great detail and still receives ample attention, but what of the extraordinary labors that led to that summit? How was flight to the moon