Benjamin Breen is an assistant professor of history at University of California Santa Cruz, where he works on the history of medicine and science in the early modern world. He was a co-founder of The Appendix, a journal of experimental and narrative history. Follow him here.
The 10-foot diameter
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The World According to the 1580s

A newly digitized map offers a rare glimpse at the way Europeans conceived of the Americas before British colonization.
“Refugee Mrs. Marie Spreyer (back to camera) is greeted by her daughter.”
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How America Thought About Refugees 70 Years Ago

And other gleanings from the 1949 run of the Saturday Evening Post.
N. Currier, “The Drunkard’s Progress,” 1846.
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The Drunkard’s Progress

Two hundred years ago, it was hard for Americans to miss the message that they had a serious drinking problem.
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Mum’s the Word

In the height of the Cold War, the NSA created a series of posters to keep its secrets from leaking. They're both wonderful and creepy.
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Podcasting the Past

Why historians should stop worrying and embrace the rise of history podcasts by non-scholars.
Alfred Crosby, 1931-2018.
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The Greatest American Historian You've Never Heard Of

An appreciation of Alfred Crosby, who coined the term "Columbian exchange."
Ursula K. Le Guin in the 1970s.
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At Home With Ursula Le Guin

Her novels featured dragons and wizards, but they were also deeply grounded in indigenous American ways of thought.
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Snails, Hedgehog Heads and Stale Beer

A peek inside premodern cookbooks.
Sever, Nicholas, 1680-1764. Sermons : manuscript, 1709-1722.
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A World in a Box

Harvard digitizes two centuries of colonial history.
Claude Lévi-Strauss and his wife Dina in the Amazonian village of Nalike, ca. 1935.
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A Refugee in Puerto Rico, 1942

Claude Lévi-Strauss and the burden of our personal archives.
Sketch made by John Gregory Bourke during his time in the U.S. Army 3rd Calvary, 1881.
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Excremental Empire

John Gregory Bourke’s "Scatalogic Rites of All Nations" and the American West.