Anna Rosenberg talking to Lyndon B. Johnson.

One of the Most Important Women in American History Has Been Forgotten

Anna Rosenberg had massive influence in American politics for 40 years. Remembering her story offers a guide for solving problems today.
Shredded "Don't Tread On Me" flag.

The Long Afterlife of Libertarianism

As a movement, it has imploded. As a credo, it’s here to stay.
Cover of "Freedom's Dominion: A Saga of White Resistance To Federal Power"

The Little Man’s Big Friends

A new book seeks to explain why many Americans, especially but not exclusively in the South, have understood freedom as an entitlement for white people.
Senators Cory Booker and Chuck Grassley conversing.

How Washington Bargained Away Rural America

Every five years, the farm bill brings together Democrats and Republicans. The result is the continued corporatization of agriculture.
Father Charles Coughlin delivers a radio speech (Fotosearch/Getty Images).

Ultra Violence

Rachel Maddow’s podcast tells of American Nazis in the 1940s. But the era’s real and lasting authoritarian danger came from the growth of a national security state.
Two white containers from English colonists, with a backdrop of a Virginia map.

Was the 1623 Poisoning of 200 Native Americans One of the Continent's First War Crimes?

English colonists claimed they wanted to make peace with the Powhatans, then offered them tainted wine.
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.
Director Edward Dmytryk and actress Jean Porter.

The 1950s Hollywood Blacklist Was an Assault on Free Expression

The blacklist didn’t just ruin many workers’ careers — it narrowed the range of acceptable movies and contributed to the conservatism of the 1950s.
Cartoon of Henry Kissinger blowing out birthday candles on a cake depicting his criminal legacy.

Henry Kissinger, War Criminal—Still at Large at 100

We now know a great deal about the crimes he committed while in office. But we know little about his four decades with Kissinger Associates.
D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, left, House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) greet the audience at a town hall meeting at Eastern High School in D.C. in 1995.

House GOP and D.C.: A Historically Strained Marriage Grows More Tenuous

Republicans have long made a sport of deriding Washington, portraying it as a dysfunctional, crime-infested “swamp."
CIA director William Colby, left, and President Gerald Ford, right.

How the Murder of a CIA Officer Was Used to Silence the Agency’s Greatest Critic

A new account sheds light on the Ford administration’s war against Sen. Frank Church and his landmark effort to rein in a lawless intelligence community.
Bars labeled First through Fourth depicting risk levels for housing loans.

The Shame of the Suburbs

How America gave up on housing equality.
Protestors gathered at Wounded Knee in 2022, waving the flag of the American Indian Movement and an upside down United States of America flag. (Photograph by Eunice Straight Head)

The Siege of Wounded Knee Was Not an End but a Beginning

Fifty years ago, the Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization invited the American Indian Movement to Pine Ridge and reignited a resistance that has not left.
Revolutionary War reenactors shooting muskets.

“Originalist” Arguments Against Gun Control Get U.S. History Completely Wrong

Gun control is actually an American tradition.
Illustration of a soldier in a tank battering through a fiery wooden structure.

A Fire Started in Waco. Thirty Years Later, It’s Still Burning.

Behind the Oklahoma City bombing and even the January 6th attack was a military-style assault in Texas that galvanized the far right.
Marian Anderson singing at the Lincoln Memorial on April 9, 1939.

Reading, Race, and "Robert's Rules of Order"

The book was an especially formal response to the complications of white supremacy, segregated democracy, and civil war.
A demonstrator holds a progress pride flag during the Drag March LA protest in West Hollywood, California.

The Shameful History of the Lavender Scare Echoes Today

Seventy years after a disgraceful episode of anti-LGTBQ history, we are facing a new wave of McCarthyist fearmongering.
Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol hears from citizens at a board meeting in November. The attendees were demanding more affordable housing in Arlington, Va.

The Battle of the Suburbs is Back. Will It End Differently?

The lessons of the past for suburban affordable housing advocates.
Founding Fathers sitting around a table

80 Is Different in 2023 Than in 1776 – But Even Back Then, a Grizzled Franklin Led

Americans have long nurtured mixed feelings about age and aged leaders. Yet during the country’s founding, a young America admired venerable old sages.
Abraham Lincoln, sitting.

Lincoln and Democracy

Lincoln's understanding of the preconditions for genuine democracy, and of its necessity, were rooted in this rich soil. And with his help, ours could be, too.
Nixon outdoors making his famous double-v hand gesture.

Nixon Was the Weirdest Environmentalist

Richard Nixon helped establish Earth Day and poured millions of dollars into conservation, despite his own ambivalence about the environmental movement.
1825 painting of a white man kissing a Black woman, and a white man whipping a Black man.

Jefferson’s Secret Plan to Whiten Virginia

Jefferson’s system depended on shoring up the bulwarks of race and basing the law on a theory of government that withdrew protection from unfavored groups.
Jimmy Carter at a podium against the backdrop of an American flag.

Is Jimmy Carter Where Environmentalism Went Wrong?

Carter’s austerity was part of a bigger project. It didn’t really have much to do with environmentalism.
Framed photograph of an African-American soldier in Union uniform with wife and two daughters, circa 1863–1865.

Means-Testing Is the Foe of Freedom

After Emancipation, Black people fought for public benefits like pensions that would make their newly won citizenship meaningful.
Voter registration at the Brookfield Conference Center in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield on Nov. 8.

Suburbs Have Moved Leftward — Except Around Milwaukee

A far right politics that developed in the middle of the 20th century has prevented Democrats from gaining as they have in suburbs elsewhere.
Martin Luther King Jr. with President Lyndon Johnson in 1966 at the White House.

The Man Who Knew Exactly What the F.B.I. Was Doing to Martin Luther King Jr.

He was the president of the United States.
The Branch Davidians compound in Waco, Texas, consumed by flames.

What Really Happened at Waco

Thirty years later, an avoidable tragedy has spawned a politically ascendant mythology.
Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, and Gloria Johnson locking hands.


The state GOP's expulsion of legislators Justin Pearson and Justin Jones echoes Georgia's refusal to seat congressman Julian Bond in 1965 for opposing the Vietnam War.
President Warren G. Harding throws out the first ball to open the Washington Senators' baseball season on April 13, 1921.

A Century Before Trump’s Term, a President Paid a Mistress to Stay Silent

President Warren G. Harding paid not one, but two women to remain quiet about their affairs with him.
A soldier standing guard on the corner of 7th & N Street NW in Washington D.C. with the ruins of buildings that were destroyed during the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

After April 4: The 1968 Rebellions and the Unfinished Work of Civil Rights in DC

When the smoke cleared in D.C. following the 1968 riots after the assasination of MLK, the city's black communities organized to rebuild a more equitable city.