A Chicago Cubs pitcher warms up.

An "Old-Fashioned Pitchers' Duel" Didn't Always Mean What You Think

A deep dive into the historical context and changing meanings of a time-honored term.
Martial arts fighting scene from Warrior.

Bruce Lee’s “Warrior,” and the Politics of Kung Fu

The Max series makes a radical argument for what constitutes American history.
Shelby Foote with a drawing of a Civil War battle superimposed over him.

The South’s Jewish Proust

Shelby Foote, failed novelist and closeted member of the Tribe, turned the Civil War into a masterpiece of American literature.
Chicago police pursue fleeing workers in this screenshot from the suppressed Paramount newsreel footage. An officer's gun can be seen in the foreground.

The Bloody Labor Crackdown Paramount Didn’t Want America to See

Executives feared their newsreel footage would “cause riots and mass hysteria.”
Releases of the Republican National Committee’s Press Relations Department, 1939

Possibilities for Propaganda

The founding and funding of conservative media on college campuses in the 1960s.
Oppenheimer movie poster.

Fact, Fiction, and the Father of the Bomb

On Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.”
Injured reporter interviewing bloodied antiwar demonstrator

Seeing Was Not Believing

A new book identifies the 1968 Democratic convention as the moment when broad public regard for the news media gave way to widespread distrust, and American divisiveness took off.
Graphic of the word "negrophile" spelled out three times

How the Right Retired “Negrophile”—and Substituted “Woke”

Favorite slur too racist? Replace it.
Photos of Harriet Boyd and Cora Stewart.

They Were Fearless 1890s War Correspondents—and They Were Women

Were Harriet Boyd and Cora Stewart rivals in Greece in 1897? The fog of war has obscured a groundbreaking tale.

Reviewing the Oppenheimer Reviews

Christopher Nolan's blockbuster has generated a torrent of historical commentary about the birth of nuclear weapons. Is there something missing from the conversation?
Richard Nixon on a television screen.

The Problem With Fox News Goes Way, Way Back

Richard Nixon decided a powerful new medium should appeal to the marketplace, not to citizens.
Captain Lightfood on horseback firing a pistol.

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot: The American Creation of Irish Outlaw Folk Heroes

Martin’s confession relates outlaw adventures that appear to be original. But were they real? 
African Americans sitting on their front porch looking at a National Guardsman holding a rifle.

A Haunting Portrait of Newark’s Bloody Summer of Unrest

The photojournalist Bud Lee captured the riots of 1967 and the human cost of the brutal police crackdown.
A woman is seated at a desk, writing.

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Meet the feuding twin sisters who popularized the American advice column.
George Washington and his generals.

George Washington's Information War

Though technologies have altered information warfare, the underlying principles remain unchanged since the day-to-day operations of the Continental Army.
Television with LeVar Burton holding book and surrounded by rainbows.

How An Untested, Cash-Strapped TV Show About Books Became An American Classic

Despite facing political headwinds and raising 'suspicion' among publishers, 'Reading Rainbow' introduced generations of American kids to books.
Illustrated silhouette of a person writing, with handwriting layered over the photo.

How Handwriting Lost Its Personality

Penmanship was once considered a window to the soul. The digital age has closed it.
The stairs leading to the segregated section of a cinema in Belzoni, Mississippi, in 1939.

The Writers Who Went Undercover to Show America Its Ugly Side

In the 1940s, a series of books tried to use the conventions of detective fiction to expose the degree of prejudice in postwar America.
Tweet by Josh Hawley of a quotation he falsely attributes to Patrick Henry.

Senator Josh Hawley Tweeted a Christian Nationalist Quote Falsely Attributed to Patrick Henry

It was actually from a 1950s antisemitic and white supremacist magazine. Who cares?
Layered collage of an eye over the portrait of Thomas Jefferson, against the backdrop of the Declaration of Independence.

Who Really Wrote ‘the Pursuit of Happiness’?

The voice of Doctor Johnson, archcritic of the American Revolution, was constantly in mind for the Declaration of Independence’s drafter.
George Gordon Meade

After Winning the Battle of Gettysburg, George Meade Fought With—and Lost to—the Press

The Civil War general's reputation was shaped by partisan politics, editorial whims and his own personal failings.
Newspaper clipping from an Abolitionist paper

The Hypocrisy of This Nation!

How abolitionists viewed the American flag.
Photo-Illustraton of Adolph Ochs.

The Invention of Objectivity

The view from nowhere came from somewhere.
“Words Have Power” exhibit displayed at Fort Pulaski National Monument.

Why I Haven’t Embraced the Terms “Forced Labor Camp” and “Enslaved Labor Camp” in My Work on Slavery

“Forced labor” conflates different forms of labor throughout history and minimizes the uniquely brutal conditions of chattel slavery.
Illustration of a book reading "A-Z" with a laptop features as the pages.

Life Is Short. Indexes Are Necessary.

In 1941 an ambitious Philadelphia pediatrician, the wonderfully named Waldo Emerson Nelson, became the editor of America’s leading textbook of pediatrics.
D-Day landing.

On the Enduring Power and Relevance of America’s Most Famous WWII Correspondent

Clare Boothe Luce and Henry Luce in New York City, 1954

A Better Journalism?

‘Time’ magazine and the unraveling of the American consensus.
Artwork of Sojourner Truth, against a background of newspaper articles for women's rights.

The Truth About Sojourner Truth

She was a woman, but she was not the author of the speech attributed to her in popular lore.
Marijuana leaves superimposed over photo of two men.

The Dank Underground

In the late Sixties, countercultural media was distributed by the Underground Press Syndicate and bankrolled by marijuana.
Mother in bed holding baby.

Facts Don’t Change Minds: A Case For The Virtues of Propaganda

A better understanding of propaganda and how to use it as an educational tool could advance the world in a positive way.