American History

Four Approaches to Conspiracy Theories

Stephen Bates— Conspiracy theories are much in the news, most notably the QAnon tangle of claims about the Deep State, child-trafficking, and cannibalism. Although the details change, allegations of secret machinations have been a staple of American politics since before the Revolution. Some are harmless entertainment, but others foster bigotry,

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Richard Oakes and the Takeover of Fort Lawton

Kent Blansett— On Sunday at 3 a.m. Richard Oakes and ninety other members of UIAT [United Indians of All Tribes] assembled at a rendezvous point in downtown Seattle. A veteran and leader of the Alcatraz takeovers, Oakes must have been transported back to the three attempts it had taken IAT

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Surviving Genocide

Jeffrey Ostler— The United States imagined several ways that Native people might be dispossessed. One possibility American leaders envisioned was that Indians would conveniently disappear as a result of seemingly “natural” and supposedly inevitable historical trends. This self-serving fantasy, however, did not happen. American leaders also talked a great deal

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An Interview with John Coltrane—May 2, 1961

Ralph J. Gleason— Ralph J. Gleason: I was fascinated by the article that you did in Downbeat last year with Don DeMicheal. I read it again last night and I wanted to ask you, have you gotten back further than Sidney Bechet? John Coltrane: No, I haven’t. Since then I

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The No-So-Last Brahmin: The Legacy of Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. Today

Luke A. Nichter— I do not know when I first heard the name “Henry Cabot Lodge”—either in high school or college. However, I remember my reaction. He was a person with a famous-sounding name, yet I could not place him. Was he the one who was Woodrow Wilson’s nemesis? If

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Mapping America’s Recovery

Andrew Imbrie— Imagine a country laid low by foreign wars, ravaged by plague, and weakened by political dysfunction, economic recession, and multiple bankruptcies. Instead of preparing for the future, its leaders engage in fierce disputes over the balance of trade, wage bitter debates over religion and immigration, and stoke tensions

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The White Evangelical Alliance with Donald Trump

Thomas S. Kidd— From Eisenhower to Romney, white evangelical voters had supported Republican candidates who seemed to model personal dignity and respect for religion, even if they did not have evangelical bona fides. At times Republican evangelicals have been credulous about Republican candidates, especially Richard Nixon. But 2016 found white

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Grasses in the Northeast

Lauren Brown and Ted Elliman— In the countryside of the Northeastern United States, many of us take great pleasure in the sight of open meadows—shimmering waves of green, lavender, and gray that evoke nostalgic images of our agricultural past and provide space and sky in our otherwise forested northeastern landscape.

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American Religion and the Marriage Debate

William N. Eskridge Jr.— From the beginning of the marriage equality debate, the main critics of marriage between persons of the same sex were religious intellectuals and public figures such as Phyllis Schlafly, Josef Ratzinger, Jim Dobson, Phil Burris, Lou Sheldon, Lynn Wardle, Maggie Gallagher, Robby George, Richard Land, and

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Getting Lost in the Wilderness in the Digital Age

Jon T. Coleman— I was born in Boulder, Colorado, in the Age of Aquarius. My little sister arrived two years later, on the second anniversary of Earth Day. Geography and history predisposed the Coleman children to think like mountains. My parents furthered the cause by taking us hiking in the

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