History

ISIS, Christianity, and the Pact of Umar

David J. Wasserstein— When ISIS forces took the Iraqi city of Mosul in the summer of 2014, and later on when they took Raqqa in Syria, they did not kill all the Christians. Instead they made them sign on to a curious set of conditions. Christians were allowed to maintain

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The Limits of Tolerance

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

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Rethinking American Religion in the Age of Trump

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

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#BookLoversDay: Books about Books for Book Lovers

Feed your book cravings with a book about book, it’s International Book Lovers Day! This list features books about reading books, writing books, studying books, and the history of the book format itself. Book yourself some time to book up in a comfy chair and book out. (How many times

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The Federalist Papers: On Impeachment

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

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Sorkin on the Racing Line

Clive James— Both The Sopranos and Band of Brothers were HBO cable productions, and their collective impact might tend to persuade us that network television was left nowhere. But it’s a law of the arts that a stylistic innovation gets instantly everywhere, like heat or cold; and in fact, even while HBO

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Gore Vidal: Some After Words

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

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Before and After Apollo

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

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Ep. 33 – Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli, and the Great Stink of 1858

The summer of 1858 was hot and stinky in London and filled with stories and scandals. http://traffic.libsyn.com/yaleuniversitypresspodcast/2017-7-20-London-Summer-1858.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

Why Are We Still Reading Jane Austen (But Not Mary Brunton)?

H. J. Jackson— Up to 1860, the career paths of Jane Austen and Mary Brunton were strikingly similar. If Brunton had an advantage in the reviews and reference books, Austen—who after all produced more novels—gradually took the lead in numbers of editions and reprints. Almost exact contemporaries, they both started

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