American History

The Four Horsemen of Capitalist Decline

Fredrik Erixon and Björn Weigel— Now, however, capitalism seems to have lost its founding spirit of enterprise. Four forces that guided the economy from the 1970s assisted in reducing the scope for experimentation and innovation. They are not the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, nor were they all undesirable, but

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Ep. 8 – A History of Things That Go Bump in the Night

On this special Halloween edition of the podcast, cultural historian Leo Braudy, author of Haunted, sat down with us to talk about the history of monsters and other scary creatures. Spooky! http://traffic.libsyn.com/yaleuniversitypresspodcast/2016-10-27-Things-Go-Bump-Night.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS

Taming the US Shadow Banks

Tamim Bayoumi— US financial reformers faced a fundamentally different issue from those in Europe. Banks in Europe were under a flawed single system. The issues in the United States, on the other hand, centered on the dual nature of the pre-crisis banking system that contained a relatively tightly regulated core and

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Strangers of Familiar Soil

Edward Dallam Melillo— On October 31, 1967, California governor Ronald Reagan addressed seventy-three diplomats, businesspeople, and academics who had assembled in Sacramento for the fourth annual Chile-California Conference. As the former Hollywood actor and future US president told his audience, “Well, Chile is something special to California, and to Californians

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Memories of the 1938 Hurricane

Stephen Long— Memory is a capacity both individual and cultural. Think back to when the recent economic downturn began in 2007 and how frequently it was compared to the Great Depression. Some called it the “great recession” to reinforce the comparison. Because so many individuals could tell firsthand tales about

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The Politics of Civility: From George Washington to Donald Trump

Richard D. Brown & Richard L. Bushman— A century ago, a grandson and great-grandson of presidents, Henry Adams, observed, “the progress of evolution from President Washington to President Grant was alone evidence enough to upset Darwin.”  Today, considering the succession from Washington to Trump, it appears Darwin has not merely been

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Make America Progressive Again

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

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The Practicalities of Presidential Prosecution

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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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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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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