Yale Civil War memorial

A Yankee Apology for Reconstruction

The creators of Yale’s Civil War Memorial were more concerned with honoring “both sides” than with the true meaning of the war.
A supporter of Donald Trump holds a Confederate flag inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, after the crowd breached the building as Congress was proceeding with the electoral vote certification of the 2020 presidential election.

Trump's 'Lost Cause,' a Kind of Gangster Cult, Won't Go Away

Lost cause narratives sometimes have been powerful enough to build or destroy political regimes. They can advance a politics of grievance.
Picture of Frederick Douglass overlaid on a poster advertising a speech of his.

The Annotated Frederick Douglass

In 1866, the famous abolitionist laid out his vision for radically reshaping America in the pages of "The Atlantic."
Abraham Lincoln.

The Two Constitutions

James Oakes’s deeply researched book argues that two very different readings of the 1787 charter put the United States on a course of all but inevitable conflict.
Students saying the pledge of allegiance in a classroom

The Fog of History Wars

Old feuds remind us that history is continually revised, driven by new evidence and present-day imperatives.
James Weldon Johnson.

James Weldon Johnson’s Ode to the “Deep River” of American History

What an old poem says about the search for justice following the Capitol riot.

An American Pogrom

Uncovering the truth about the 1898 massacre of black voters in Wilmington, North Carolina.
People raising their fists and gathered around the Robert E. Lee Memorial in Richmond, Virginia

Europe in 1989, America in 2020, and the Death of the Lost Cause

A whole vision of history seems to be leaving the stage.
Freedmen's Memorial

Yes, the Freedmen’s Memorial Uses Racist Imagery. But Don’t Tear It Down.

Keep in mind what it meant to the people who created it.

One Week to Save Democracy

Lessons from Frederick Douglass on the tortured relationship between protest and change.

‘A Doubtful Freedom’

Andrew Delbanco's new book positions the debate over fugitive slaves as a central factor in the nation's slide toward disunion.

The University of North Carolina's Payout to the Confederate Lost Cause

The University of North Carolina agreed to pay the Sons of Confederate Veterans $2.5 million—a sum that rivals the endowment of its history department.

Frederick Douglass’s Vision for a Reborn America

In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, he dreamed of a pluralist utopia.

Frederick Douglass Forum

An online forum on the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass.
Frederick Douglass.

Frederick Douglass, Abolition, and Memory

On Douglass’s monumental life, the voice of the biographer, memory and tragedy, and why history matters right now.

The Silent Type

David Blight reviews Ron Chernow's biography of Ulysses S. Grant.
Violence during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017.

America's Deadly Divide - and Why it Has Returned

Civil War historian David Blight reflects on America’s Disunion – then and now.

The Battle for Memorial Day in New Orleans

A century and a half after the Civil War, Mayor Mitch Landrieu asked his city to reexamine its past — and to wrestle with hard truths.

Frederick Douglass, Refugee

Throughout modern history, the millions forced to flee as refugees have felt Douglass' agony, and thought his thoughts.

The Civil War Isn’t Over

More than 150 years after Appomattox, Americans are still fighting over the great issues at the heart of the conflict.