History

The First Professional American Novelist

Wayne Franklin— It’s a good story, but will it sell? It’s the rare young writer who doesn’t fantasize about the best seller that would make her career. The truth of the matter, though, is that very few published writers actually support themselves by what they write. When I was a

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Finding the Future of Environmentalism in its Past

Benjamin Heber Johnson— Most environmental protections are predicated on the use of state power. When Americans feared that a species would soon be pushed over the brink of extinction, they passed laws forbidding or limiting hunting it; when they valued an area for the serene majesty of its old-growth timber,

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A Sociological Look at World War Combat

Alan Allport— The Second World War was not just one of the two greatest military efforts ever undertaken by the United Kingdom, but also, albeit quite by chance, one of its two greatest ever sociological experiments. Between 1939 and 1945, Britain mobilized around 5.8 million men and 640,000 women for

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Architect of the Holocaust

Martin Kitchen— The Oxford historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, whom British Intelligence had appointed to counter Soviet claims that Hitler was not dead but had sought refuge with the Western Allies, interviewed Albert Speer while he was in custody at Kransberg Castle, where he awaited trial at Nuremberg. He had found him

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The Backdrop of the Crisis in Syria

Itamar Rabinovich— An atrocious civil war has been raging in Syria for more than six years now. More than half a million Syrians have been killed thus far, and more than ten million—almost half the population—have been uprooted. The Syrian crisis has affected the stability of neighboring countries, undermined the

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Benjamin Franklin on Immigration

To celebrate the publication of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin: Volume 42 this month, we’re highlighting the founding father’s opinions on immigration as found in his letters and pamphlets. The following excerpt is taken from his pamphlet “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America.” Benjamin Franklin— With Regard to Encouragements for

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Remembering (and Forgetting) Collective History

David Rieff— Lawrence Binyon’s poem “For the Fallen” was first published in the London Times on September 21, 1914, six weeks after the Great War had begun. It is sometimes suggested that Binyon, who was a distinguished art historian as well as a poet (he was the British Museum’s Keeper

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The CIA’s Drone Policy Under Trump

Christopher J. Fuller— President Trump’s agenda has borrowed heavily from Reagan. Tax cuts, a military buildup, and even the slogan “Make America Great Again” were all signatures of the 1980 presidential campaign, noisily repackaged for a new age. Within a day of assuming office, Trump revealed a further resonance with

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Podcast: A Brief History of the Reformation

Noted historian and author Carlos Eire breaks down some of the myths about Martin Luther and the Reformation and provides an insightful look at the history of the Catholic and Protestant religions from medieval to modern times. Subscribe: iTunes Stitcher

Looking Back at the First World War

Today marks the centennial of the United States’ entry into World War I. To commemorate the day, we sat down with Bruno Cabanes, author of August 1914: France, the Great War, and a Month that Changed the World Forever, to discuss what he discovered about the war through his research and

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