History

White Beaches in Connecticut

Andrew W. Kahrl— It was a hot and hazy August afternoon in the summer of 1975. The line was long, and tempers were short. Outside the entrance to Hammonasset State Park, sunburned arms dangled from the sides of cars, children’s heads rested on windows, and idle drivers burned fuel that

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Shifting Paradigms in the Study of Christian Origins

Matt Jackson-McCabe— One of the more intriguing questions in the history of religion is how the Jewish apostles of a first-century Jewish messiah came to be considered the authoritative embodiment of values fundamentally other than Jewish. Making sense of Christianity’s relationship to Judaism has been a problem ever since the

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Two Dresses

David Margolick— Early in the morning of September 4, 1957, two girls in Little Rock, Arkansas, each fifteen years old, dressed for school. On a block of black families nestled in the west side of town, in the small brick house she shared with her parents and five brothers and

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The Voyages of Joseph Banks

Toby Musgrave— As a young man Joseph Banks (he was knighted at the age of thirty-eight on 23 March 1781) undertook three voyages of scientific discovery. With his first, to Newfoundland and Labrador in 1776, he established a paradigm for the study of natural history as an integral component of

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The Heart of the Abolition Movement

Manisha Sinha— Abolition was a radical, interracial movement, one which addressed the entrenched problems of exploitation and disfranchisement in a liberal democracy and anticipated debates over race, labor, and empire. Caricatured as unthinking, single-minded fanatics who caused a “needless war,” abolitionists are often compared unfavorably to political moderates and compromise-minded

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Christian Ecumenism in the Crusades

Steve Tibble— The main Christian groups in the crusader states were the Greek Orthodox, the Syrian Orthodox, the Armenians, the Maronites and, particularly once colonial rural settlement began to gather pace in the second quarter of the twelfth century, the Frankish Catholics. Religious bigotry was far less prevalent than one

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The Verbal Imperialism of “Germany, Awaken!”

Karl Kraus— A literary man sensitive to fine writing might even understand my position and recognise that, in the journalism and rhetoric of the new creed, we have not seen or heard a single German verbal expression that has not belied its purported content. Among the many neologisms inspired by

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The History of Racism in Ferguson

Mustafa Dikeç— The Department of Justice (DoJ) report following the investigation of Ferguson police department and municipal court was categorical: ‘Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs.’ This emphasis on revenue generation led to unconstitutional policing and irregular practices

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What Story Do Americans Want to Hear?

Rogers M. Smith— Political figures on all sides decry “fake news” today. But politics has always been driven more by stories than facts. As different as they are in all other regards, both of America’s last two presidents won wildly improbable electoral successes while telling compelling stories about their country

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Tootle the Engine and Character Formation

David Riesman with Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney— Tootle the Engine (text by Gertrude Crampton, pictures by Tibor Gergely) is a popular and in many ways charming volume in the “Little Golden Books” series. It is a cautionary tale even though it appears to be simply one of the many

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