History

Practicalities of Impeachment

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

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What is Religion?

Richard Holloway— As with many useful words, symbol comes from Greek. It means to bring together things that had come apart, the way you might glue the bits of a broken plate together. Then a symbol became an object that stood for or represented something else. It still had the idea of

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Equal Rights in President Donald Trump’s America

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. 

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Ep. 4 – The Nazi Mind

Psychiatrist Joel Dimsdale discusses the pathology of Nazi war criminals. http://traffic.libsyn.com/yaleuniversitypresspodcast/2016-7-11-Nazi-Mind.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSS

The Paleo Diet in Ancient Civilization

James C. Scott— I am neither an advocate nor a practitioner of the Paleo diet. I love bread, pasta, butter, and yogurt far too much to forsake them altogether. On the other hand, I have made an effort to understand the dietary consequences of “civilization,” of the food ways typical

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The Historical Assault on the Language of the Deaf

Gerald Shea— Noam Chomsky, giving a lecture in Chicago in 1965, mistakenly defined language as “a specific sound-to-meaning correspondence.” When asked where this left the signed languages of the Deaf, Chomsky revised his definition on the spot, calling language a specific signal to meaning correspondence. The distinction was important, for it was

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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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