Category Archives: History

Before Hillary Clinton, there was Rosalynn Carter

Azadeh Moaveni writes: When Americans look back and take stock of their most impressive first ladies, they rarely think of Rosalynn Carter. In a 2020 poll that asked historians and other experts to rank first ladies on a score of exemplary characteristics, Mrs. Carter came in ninth, trailing Dolley Madison, Betty Ford and Jackie Kennedy.… Read More »

Nakba generation relive trauma of displacement in Gaza

The Guardian reports: Umm Ghadeer’s earliest memories are of the Nakba, or catastrophe, of 1948 in which about 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homeland after the creation of Israel. She was three years old. Last month she was forced to abandon her home all over again, fleeing Shejaiya, a neighbourhood of Gaza City, after… Read More »

How the hillbillies remade America

Max Fraser writes: On April 29, 1954, a cross section of Cincinnati’s municipal bureaucracy—joined by dozens of representatives drawn from local employers, private charities, the religious community, and other corners of the city establishment—gathered at the behest of the mayor’s office to discuss a new problem confronting the city. Or, rather, about 50,000 new problems,… Read More »

Poland shows that autocracy is not inevitable

Anne Applebaum writes: Thirty-four years ago, in June 1989, Poland woke up to a surprise. Despite a voting process rigged to favor the Communist Party, despite decades of propaganda supporting Communists and smearing anti-Communists, despite the regime’s control of the army, the police, and the secret police, the democratic opposition won, taking all of the… Read More »

The history of Palestinian liberation movements

  The history of Palestinian liberation movements is paved with setbacks, betrayals and bitter rivalries. What began as an attempt to unify the resistance against Israeli occupation has over time been undermined by regional and global political interests, ideological differences and disagreements over the justification, and use, of guerilla tactics. Today the question of who… Read More »

Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric echoes Hitler’s in Mein Kampf

The New York Times reports: Former President Donald J. Trump said undocumented immigrants were “poisoning the blood of our country” in a recent interview, language with echoes of white supremacy and the racial hatreds of Adolf Hitler. Mr. Trump made the remark in a 37-minute video interview with The National Pulse, a right-leaning website, that… Read More »

This isn’t democracy. It’s the heartbeat of authoritarianism

Joanne Freeman writes: Without a doubt, the Republican ousting of Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy is a banner of dysfunction. Sifting through the chaos for its meaning is more complex. It certainly signals that something is broken, but what? It’s not the Republican Party’s fracture in and of itself. Fractured political parties are hardly new; the… Read More »

A broken Congress is what MAGA always wanted

David Rothkopf writes: There have been MAGA true believers shitting on the floor of the Congress ever since Jan. 6, 2021. But the right wing’s active desecration of the U.S. government extends far beyond ugly recent events on Capitol Hill, and dates back long before the Trumpist insurrection of two and a half years ago.… Read More »

The killing in Canada shows what India has become

Daniel Block writes: On September 18, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood before his country’s Parliament and leveled a dramatic charge: Ottawa had “credible evidence” that the Indian government had assassinated a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil. The citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, had been gunned down outside the Sikh temple where he served as president.… Read More »

The world according to Elon Musk’s grandfather

Jill Lepore writes: This month, Elon Musk threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League, alleging that its denunciation of X—the A.D.L. had accused the social-media platform formerly known as Twitter of amplifying antisemitism—has cost Musk’s company a fortune in advertising revenue. The Anti-Defamation League, in turn, asserted that Musk’s threat was “dangerous and deeply irresponsible.” This… Read More »

Pope Pius XII knew about the Holocaust early on

Reuters reports: Wartime Pope Pius XII knew details about the Nazi attempt to exterminate Jews in the Holocaust as early as 1942, according to a letter found in the Vatican archives that conflicts with the Holy See’s official position at the time that the information it had was vague and unverified. The yellowed, typewritten letter,… Read More »

Back to New Jersey, where the universe began

Dennis Overbye writes: On a field just below the summit of Crawford Hill, the highest point in Monmouth County, N.J., almost within sight of the skyscrapers of Manhattan, sits a cluster of shacks and sheds. Next to them is the Holmdel Horn Antenna, a radio telescope somewhat resembling the scoop of a giant steam shovel:… Read More »