YUP News

Notes from the Gulag

The following two poems are written by Arsenii Formakov, a Latvian Russian poet, novelist, and journalist, during two terms in Soviet labor camps, 1940 to 1947 in Kraslag and 1949 to 1955 in Kamyshlag and Ozerlag. This correspondence, which Formakov mailed home to his family in Riga, provides readers with

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Eclipses and the Lessons of History

Anthony Aveni— “Celestial source of life and light on earth! What envious rival intercepts thy rays? Dares thy own satellite intercepts thy blaze, Or stay thy stream of empyrean birth?…”   The first four lines of a sonnet “tweeted out” by the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy

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The Talmud and Rabbi Akiva

Barry W. Holtz— What does it mean to live in a culture that is rooted in a foundational document, a document from an earlier time written in a language that is both archaic and at times obscure? Americans have grappled with this question for over two centuries and the prospect

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When Healthcare Is About ‘Parts and Money’

Abraham M. Nussbaum— As you become a physician, you feel as if you are learning to see people as a compendium of parts and a source of income: parts and money. No one pulls you aside during training and tells you this plainly. Just the same, you learn, as I

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Why Should Speech Be Free?

Timothy Garton Ash— The fact that most states in the world have signed international treaties guaranteeing freedom of expression, and make such promises in their constitutions, does not answer the question: why should speech be free? As soon as we start trying to hold governments to their word, or debate

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Closing the Courthouse Doors to Challenges to the Trump Presidency

Erwin Chemerinsky— The first weeks of the Trump presidency demonstrate that the federal judiciary must be available as an essential check to enforce the Constitution. Already many lawsuits have been filed against President Trump and his administration, such as for violating the “emoluments clauses” of the Constitution, for the travel

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An A to Z of Economics: Part 1

Niall Kishtainy— To celebrate the publication of A Little History of Economics, we asked its author—writer, economist and historian Niall Kishtainy—to explain some of the most important staples of economic terminology for us in a handy A-Z of Economics. This post originally appeared on the Yale University Press London blog.  Read on

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On a Hot Summer’s Day

Avner Holtzman— Warsaw, August 1900. Two very young men, Yosef Hayim Brenner and Uri Nissan Gnessin, later to be known as the giants of modern Hebrew literature, were staying in Gnessin’s rented room in 21 Dzielna Street. Both were swept by the intensive atmosphere of Hebrew literary life in Warsaw,

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Groundwater: Overpumped, Undervalued, and Essential to Water and Food Security

William M. Alley and Rosemarie Alley— Groundwater is the source of drinking water for about half the world’s people, as well as the dominant source of household water in rural areas. Many large cities depend solely or largely on groundwater. Groundwater is also critical to food production, providing more than

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The Value of Data in Governance

Jennifer Bachner— Data have been collected and analyzed for millennia, but never before have these processes been so ubiquitous. Data journalism, with its focus on eye-catching visualizations and infographics, is transforming an industry from mere collection of information to effective presentation. Businesses rigorously analyze consumers’ browsing and purchasing histories to

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