The Biggest Civil Rights Protest You Probably Never Heard of

A couple of weeks ago, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I wrote about Jeanne Theoharis’s important book A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History, in which she reminds historians—and the broader public—not to neglect the movement in the North. In one particularly powerful example, Theoharis notes the … Continue reading The Biggest Civil Rights Protest You Probably Never Heard of

Recommended Reads: January 2019

A selection of thought-provoking reads from the month that was… Nathan Heller, “The Philosopher Redefining Equality” (The New Yorker, January 7) At fifty-nine, [Elizabeth] Anderson is the chair of the University of Michigan’s department of philosophy and a champion of the view that equality and freedom are mutually dependent, enmeshed in changing conditions through time. … Continue reading Recommended Reads: January 2019

The Civil War, Then and Now: Continuities from The Thin Light of Freedom

Over the weekend, I finished reading Ed Ayers’s most recent book The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America. The book is the long-awaited follow-up to Ayers’ Bancroft Prize winner, In the Presence of Mine Enemies: The Civil War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863. Picking up where … Continue reading The Civil War, Then and Now: Continuities from The Thin Light of Freedom

Dépaysement

Did you know that the during WWI, an American soldier fighting in France died of nostalgia? (In fact, he was apparently the last person to perish from the horrible affliction.) In her brilliant TED talk, “The cultural history of emotion,” historian Tiffany Watt Smith offers a glimpse into the history of nostalgia. “How is it … Continue reading Dépaysement