Ledger drawing of Plains Indians on horseback.

A Shameful US History Told Through Ledger Drawings

In the 19th century ledger drawings became a concentrated point of resistance for Indigenous people, an expression of individual and communal pride.
A silhouette of Hercules Posey created for Mount Vernon’s “Lives Bound Together” exhibit using a description of the cook written by George Washington’s step-grandson.

Bringing to Light the Cuisine of Hercules Posey, George Washington’s Enslaved Chef

For two centuries, the story of the nation’s first presidential chef has been lost to history. A group of historians is working to give Hercules Posey his due.
An advertisement from China for soup with brain meat.

In Defense of Eating Brains

While some in the West are squeamish, globally, it's more common than not.
Peanuts' Franklin as a flat two-dimensional character.

It’s Flagrant Tokenism, Charlie Brown!

Peanuts’ Franklin has been a controversial character for decades. A new special attempts reparations.
A colorful drawing of Native Americans on horses.

Pictures From a Genocide

An astonishing new show of Native American ledger drawings brings a historic crime into focus.
A bedroom decorated with Bob Marley merchandise and the Jamaican flag.

Bob Marley’s ‘Legend’ Is One of the Bestselling Albums Ever. But Does It Tell His Full Story?

After 40 years and more than 25 million copies sold, what story does ‘Legend’ tell us about Bob Marley and the people listening to it?
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in a scene from the 1966 film “Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?”

The Drama of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” Spilled Into Real Life

After "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," the nightmare of American familyhood was the only game in town.
Baltimore Colts' Jim O'Brien making a game-winning field goal kick in Super Bowl V in Miami, 1971.
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The Man Who Changed Field Goals Forever

A Hungarian immigrant first brought the soccer style field kick to the NFL.
A illustration depicts the Hopkinsville Goblins incident from 1955, when a group claims they were assaulted by aliens of some sort.

The Long, Surprising Legacy of the Hopkinsville Goblins

Or, why families under siege make for great movies.
Jewish moneylender choking debtor

"A Fiendish Fascination"

The representation of Jews in antebellum popular culture reveals that many Americans found them both cartoonishly villainous and enticingly exotic.
Vinyl disc of "Love, Love, Love" by Ted Jarrett

The Black Songwriter Who Took Nashville by Storm

Before Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” won song of the year at the CMAs, hit maker Ted Jarrett’s music topped the country charts.
Performers from "Black America"
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Nate Salsbury’s "Black America"

The 1895 show purported to show a genuine Southern Black community and demonstrate Black cultural progress in America, from enslavement to citizenship.
Collage of African Americans' faces.

Specters of the Mythic South

How plantation fiction fixed ghost stories to Black Americans.
Lou Reed playing the guitar in front of an amp

The Brilliant Discontents of Lou Reed

A new biography examines the enigma of the musician.
An engraving of Mrs. David Meade Randolph by Charle de Saint-Mémin.

Southern Hospitality? The Abstracted Labor of the Whole Pig Roast

Barbecue is a cornerstone of American cuisine, containing all of the contradictions of the country itself.
Leonard Bernstein smoking a cigarette

The Bernstein Enigma

In narrowly focusing on Leonard Bernstein’s tortured personal life, "Maestro" fails to explore his tortured artistic life.
The Go-Go's on July 30, 1981. From left, Kathy Valentine, Charlotte Caffey, Jane Wiedlin, Belinda Carlisle, and Gina Schock.

We Got the Beat

How The Go-Go’s emerged from the LA punk scene in the late ’70s to become the first and only female band to have a number one album.
Miles Davis.

Not Not Jazz

When Miles Davis went electric in the late 1960s, he overhauled his thinking about songs, genres, and what it meant to lead a band.
A kickline of five Asian American dancers at the Forbidden City nightclub in San Francisco.
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Americanism, Exoticism, and the “Chop Suey” Circuit

Asian American artists who performed for primarily white audiences in the 1930s and ’40s both challenged and solidified racial boundaries in the United States.
Nicki Minaj and the autobiography of Malcolm X written by Alex Haley.

It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop

We cannot understand the last fifty years of U.S. history—certainly not the first thing about Black history—without studying the emergence and evolution of rap.
A drawing of a smiling stereotypical 1950s housewife with thought-bubbles depicting dinner party food and paraphernalia.

Time Traveling Through History’s Weirdest Entertaining Advice

The 20th century brought dinner parties to the masses, along with some truly unhinged entertaining advice
Cordell Jackson playing guitar on stage

Overlooked No More: Cordell Jackson, Elder Stateswoman of Rock ’n’ Roll

A pioneering record-label owner and engineer, she played guitar in a raw and unapologetically abrasive way. “Whatever song it was,” she said, “I always creamed it.”
Photo of a female jogger drinking water out of a pink metal water bottle.
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Your New Year's Resolution to Drink More Water Has a History

Our water bottle obsession speaks to deeper historical trends.
Silhouette of Oppenheimer wearing a fedora.

How Do We Know the Motorman Is Not Insane?

Oppenheimer and the demon heart of power.
A photograph of John G. Neihardt raising his fists to box.
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A Tale of Two Visionaries

What roiled the mind of Nebraska poet John Neihardt with whom Black Elk, the iconic Lakota holy man, shared his story?
A turntable and records.

What’s Old is New Again (and Again): On the Cyclical Nature of Nostalgia

Retro was not the antithesis to the sub- and countercultural experiments of the 1960s, it grew directly out of them.
Santa catches the trolly to Bloomingdales.

In the 1800s, a Group of NYC Artists and Writers Created the Modern-Day Santa Claus

See how Washington Irving, Clement Clarke Moore and Thomas Nast made Santa the merriest man in Manhattan.
Bud Schulberg testifying before HUAC.

During the 2023 Writers Strike, This Book Helped Me Understand the Depravities of Hollywood

A 1941 novel by a former Communist Party member about the dog-eat-dog scumbaggery of movie executives and the lying and artless bragging that Hollywood runs on.
Shirley Horn in a publicity shot, 1960.

How to Take It Slow

Following the rhythm of Shirley Horn.
Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway standing on stage singing to each other.

Radical Light

The cosmic collision of Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway.