Will This Year’s Census Be the Last?

In the past two centuries, the evolution of the U.S. Census has tracked the country’s social tensions and reflected its political controversies.

The Last Time Democracy Almost Died

By examining the upheaval of the nineteen-thirties, we can recognize similarities between today and democracy's last near-death experience.

Herman Melville at Home

The novelist drew on far-flung voyages to create his masterpiece. But he could finish it only at his beloved Berkshire farm.

Jill Lepore on Early American Ideas of Nationalism

"Inevitably, the age of national bootblacks and national oyster houses and national blacksmiths produced national history books."

Does Journalism Have a Future?

In an era of social media and fake news, journalists who have survived the print plunge have new foes to face.
Jill Lepore

'The Academy Is Largely Itself Responsible for Its Own Peril'

On writing the story of America, the rise and fall of the fact, and how women’s intellectual authority is undermined.
Line illustration of Trump looking out a window, by João Fazenda.

Measuring Presidents’ Misdeeds

During Watergate, historians helped catalogue accusations made against past Presidents; their findings may be useful again.

The Rise of the Victims’-Rights Movement

How a conservative agenda and a feminist cause came together to transform criminal justice.

The Right Way to Remember Rachel Carson

She did not write her most famous work until late in life. Until then, she thought of herself as a poet of the sea.

What Do We Do With Our Dead?

Our mortuary conventions reveal a lot about our relation to the past.

Flip-Flopping on Free Speech

The fight for the First Amendment, on campuses and football fields, from the sixties to today.
Nixon taking the oath of office.

Americans Aren't Just Divided Politically, They're Divided Over History Too

Underlying current debates, says Jill Lepore, are fundamental conflicts over the meanings of the past.

How Impeachment Ended Up in the Constitution

James Madison thought of a lot of good reasons to impeach a President. Members of Congress might want to consult his list.

The History Test

How should the courts use history?

How Women Changed American Politics

How feminism and antifeminism created Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

To Have and to Hold

Griswold v. Connecticut became about privacy; what if it had been about equality?
Server for the Internet Archive.

Can the Internet be Archived?

The Web dwells in a never-ending present. The Wayback Machine aims to preserve its past.

The Surprising Origin Story of Wonder Woman

The history of the comic-book superhero's creation seven decades ago has been hidden away — until now.
Income tax form

Tax Time

Why we pay.
Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker

The Lie Factory: How Politics Became a Business

The field of political consulting was unknown before Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker founded Campaigns, Inc., in 1933.

Battleground America

One nation, under the gun.


What's next for Planned Parenthood?


Clarence Darrow’s unfinished work.
Drawings of George Washington

His Highness

George Washington scales new heights.