A crowd gathered around a railroad track at the ceremony marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.

Breaking the Myth About America’s ‘Great’ Railroad Expansion

Historian Richard White on the greed, ineptitude and economic cost behind the transcontinental railroads, and the implications for infrastructure policy today.
Cover of "These Truths"

New Yorker Nation

In Jill Lepore's "These Truths," ideas produce other ideas. But new ideas arise from thinking humans, not from other ideas.

For Tech Giants, a Cautionary Tale from 19th Century Railroads on Competition’s Limits

How much monopoly is too much monopoly?

Jared Kushner's Business Dealings Evoke the Nepotism and Corruption of the Gilded Age

From fee-based governance to the “friendships” between the rich and public officials, the 19th century practices we once banished are back.

When the Idea of Home Was Key to American Identity

From log cabins to Gilded Age mansions, how you lived determined where you belonged.
Jackson statue outside the White House.

Trump's Jacksonian Moment

A new biography of Andrew Jackson recounts a bloody history, and reveals disturbing parallels between the 1830s and the Trump era.
Billboard that reads "God Loves You" above an American flag and doves.

One Nation Under Gods

Despite what Steve King says, the U.S. was never a Christian nation.

Before Greed

There was a time when Americans valued 'competency' over riches and saw wealth as the cause of poverty.