American History

Female Fortitude in the Fog of War

Lorri Glover— During the long war—at once a civil and a guerilla conflict—armed bands ransacked homes and ravaged communities at will, with impunity. Combatants made little distinction between civilians and soldiers, so that the front lines bled into the home front. Armies and vigilant mobs burned fields and slaughtered livestock

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Marriage in the Movies of Stanley Kubrick

David Mikics— We usually don’t remember that Stanley Kubrick made movies about marriage, but he did. Three of his films center on a married couple, and all of them are masterpieces: Barry Lyndon, The Shining, and Eyes Wide Shut. Kubrick had half a century of experience of married life, and

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Diabetes among Native Americans

Arleen Marcia Tuchman— Like African Americans, Native Americans did not suffer from diabetes. At least, that was the nearly universal belief in the first decades of the twentieth century. Not that they were healthy. Tuberculosis was ravaging their communities. Trachoma, enteritis, and other infectious diseases were rampant as well. But

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The Lizzie and Its Founder

Walter Goffart— Yale’s Elizabethan Club was founded in 1911, a big year not just at Yale. A pandemic in Manchuria was an unpromising start. This pneumonic plague was fully checked by the wearing of cloth facial masks. A tragic note was struck again by the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in

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The Mountains Are Calling—but Who Gets to Go?

Caroline Schaumann— In the Covid-Age, the value of nature runs high. Beaches and mountain trails are overrun with those seeking a respite from lockdowns and social restrictions in the cities, and campervan and RV life is surging in popularity. When Yosemite National Park reopened in early June, the precious few

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“Girl Runs Peppermint Farm”

Dan Allosso— Among the farmers whose personal stories included peppermint oil was Mary Clark of Galien, Michigan. Mary was first noticed by the Detroit Free Press in a 1905 article entitled “Woman Farmer’s Success—Miss Mary Clark of Michigan Does All the Work on 80 Acres.” The article began with the

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Bostock and Originalism

Mark Tushnet— On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court decided Bostock v. Clayton County. Dividing 5-4, the Court held that the ban on employment discrimination “because of sex” in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act extended to discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transgender people. Remarkably, both Justice Neil

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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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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 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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