Curated stories from around the web.
New on Bunk
Photo collage of L.J. Davis, Jervis Anderson, and a street map

The Invention of a Neighborhood

In the early years of Brooklyn’s gentrification, a 1977 New Yorker piece by Jervis Anderson captured the process in a freeze-frame.
Salvador Allende campaigning before Chile’s parliamentary elections, Santiago, February 1973.

Defending Allende

On September 4, 1973, an enormous multitude of Chileans poured into the streets of Santiago to back the besieged government of Salvador Allende.
Betty and Barney Hill holding "The Interrupted Journey" by John G. Fuller.

The UFO Story of Betty and Barney Hill: Why Their Fight To Be Believed Was An American Tragedy

Betty and Barney Hill lost three hours on a New Hampshire highway in 1961. They spent years trying to understand it.
The Vessel in New York City.

Stumbling Into Submission: How Real Estate And Finance Capital Conquered New York City

Hudson Yards received a $6 billion cocktail of public subsidies, including tax breaks and infrastructure improvements, to create a billionaires' playground.

Civil War Life in all its Day-to-Day Contrasts

In his latest work of history, Edward Ayers captures daily life along with the military and political moves.
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.
Salt Lake Temple

How September 1993, When LDS Leaders Disciplined Six Dissidents, Continues to Trouble the Church

Many faiths face conflicts over institutional control. In Latter-day Saints history, the episode around the ‘September Six’ is particularly memorable.
Gerald Ford, University of Michigan.

“Half Right and Half Wrong.”

There's more to Gerald Ford, "the son of a bitch pardoned the son of a bitch,” than Watergate.
Drawing of George Washington Williams

George Washington Williams’ "History of the Negro Race in America" (1882–83)

A work of millennial scope by a self-taught African-American historian.
Pollution above a city

The Importance of Shining a Light on Hidden Toxic Histories

Societies celebrate heroes and commemorate tragedies. But why is there so little public acknowledgment of environmental disasters?
Betty Friedan

The Abandonment of Betty Friedan

What does the academy have against the mother of second-wave feminism?
Disney strikers picketing the premiere of The Reluctant Dragon, Los Angeles, July 1941.

Storyboards and Solidarity

The current Hollywood strikes have a precedent in Disney’s golden age, when the company was a hothouse of innovation and punishing expectation.
Betty and Barney Hill praying.

From Civil Rights Liberals to New Age Conspiracy Theorists

What Betty and Barney Hill's alien abduction story reveals about America.
Scientists releasing weather balloons

Healing the Ozone: First Steps Toward Success

A worldwide effort to heal damage to the ozone layer is showing early progress.
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? 
A drawing of Madame Restell.

Meet the Queen Bee of Victorian Abortionists

The notorious Madame Restell lived large and fearlessly in a century not so far, far away.
A crowd of men attending a Plattsburgh Camp.

Going to Summer Camp in 1913 Meant Practicing for World War I

How the Plattsburg camps tried (and failed) to raise a volunteer army ahead of World War I.
Demonstrators hold Confederate flags near the monument for Confederacy President Jefferson Davis  in Richmond, Va., after it was spray-painted with the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

Confederate Monuments Caused Voting Decline In Black Areas

As Confederate monuments were erected, people turned out to vote in lower numbers in predominantly Black areas.
Lionel Trilling

Liberalism in Mourning

Lionel Trilling crystallizes the cynical Cold War liberalism that sacrificed idealism for self-restraint.
Side profile of Aaron Burr.

Aaron Burr: Most Hated Man in American History

A more sympathetic look at Aaron Burr, the man who killed Alexander Hamilton.
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.
Sarah Collins Rudolph at home in 2002.

What Does America Owe the Victims of Racial Terrorism?

On the 60th anniversary of a K.K.K. bombing, Sarah Collins Rudolph is still seeking restitution.
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.
Mabel E. Macomber

The Neighborhood Nuisance: One Woman’s Crusade to Shape Brooklyn

“It is true that my life has been threatened as the leader of this playground campaign,” wrote Mabel E. Macomber in 1929 from Brooklyn’s Bedford neighborhood.
Women at National Organization for Women demonstration

Betty Friedan and the Movement That Outgrew Her

Friedan was indispensable to second-wave feminism. And yet she was difficult to like.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas talking

How Chicago School Economists Reshaped American Justice

The 50th anniversary of a groundbreaking work.
Students hiding under desks during an air raid test

Is Liberalism a Politics of Fear?

A conversation about the Cold War’s profound and negative influence on the liberal worldview.
John F. Kennedy shaking hands with Lyndon Johnson and Walter George

Samuel Moyn Can’t Stop Blaming Trumpism on Liberals

"Liberalism Against Itself" makes an incoherent attack on liberalism.
Moe Berg in his baseball uniform holding a catchers glove

The Baseball Player-Turned-Spy Who Went Undercover to Assassinate the Nazis' Top Nuclear Scientist

During World War II, the OSS sent Moe Berg to Europe, where he gathered intel on Germany's efforts to build an atomic bomb.
Sea Captains drinking alcohol

Ships Going Out

In "American Slavers," Sean M. Kelley surveys the relatively unknown history of Americans who traded in slaves in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
An uncredited performer with a member of the Delta Rhythm Boys in Give Me Some Skin (1946).

Jammin’ in the Panoram

During World War II, proto–music videos called “soundies” blared pop patriotism from visual jukeboxes across American bars.
Oil painting of two storm-tossed ships on a churning sea.

Startup Imperialism: Venture Capital and the Age of Exploration

A re-examination of the Age of Exploration may have more than a little to teach us about modern venture capitalists.
Large group of white and Black schoolchildren

Two Documentaries on School Integration Offer New Views of an Old Problem

Premiering in September, the films take very different looks at what has and hasn’t changed in the almost 70 years since Brown v. Board of Education.
Drawing of Josiah Henson

The Man Who Became Uncle Tom

Harriet Beecher Stowe said that Josiah Henson’s life had inspired her most famous character. But Henson longed to be recognized by his own name.
Secret Service agent Paul Landis, JFK, and Jackie Kennedy in crowd.

A New JFK Assassination Revelation Could Upend the Long-Held “Lone Gunman” Theory

Former Secret Service agent Paul Landis, largely silent for 60 years, says he found a bullet in Kennedy’s limo. Here's why that’s so significant, if true.
Painting of the english surgeon Edward Jenner inoculating a child.

How Far Back Were Africans Inoculating Against Smallpox? Really Far Back.

When I looked at the archives, I found a history hidden in plain sight.
Strikers outside Walt Disney Studios in 1941.

Disney Animators Strike During WWII Changed the Company — and Hollywood

The 1941 strike, following the spectacular success of “Snow White,” stunned Walt Disney and rattled his now-storied company.
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.”
Frank Church.

The Senator Who Took On the CIA

Frank Church and the committee that investigated the US intelligence agencies.
Deborah Taylor Mapp at her home in the Broad Creek neighborhood of Norfolk, Va.

The Long History of Universities Displacing Black People

The expansion of higher education in Virginia uprooted hundreds of black families.
Austin West, a Choctaw student, visits Kindred Spirits, a monument to the Choctaw in County Cork.

The Unlikely, Enduring Friendship Between Ireland and the Choctaw Nation

One act of generosity during the Great Famine forged a bond that transcends generations.
Planned Parenthood center in Kentucky

The 113-Year-Old Law Behind Anti-Abortion Activists’ Latest Scheme

The Christian right is pushing a slate of laws to stop a new, vague offense they have dubbed “abortion trafficking.”
Black Lives Matter Protesters.

The Atlanta Way

Repression, mediation, and division of Black resistance from 1906 to the 2020 George Floyd Uprising.
Stop Cop City Poster, Defend the Atlanta Forest

RICO and Stop Cop City: The Long War Against the Left 

When it comes to the left, the state uses RICO to criminalize radicals as thieves and separate them from a broader base of support.
Smoke pours from La Moneda, the Chilean presidential palace, during the military coup.

50 Years After “the Other 9/11”: Remembering the Chilean Coup

Some personal reflections on history, memory, and the survival of democracies.
Compilation of historical markers from different states.

Why Historical Markers Matter

Few realize that the approval process for these outdoor signs varies widely by state and organization, enabling unsanctioned displays to slip through.
Burkhard Bilger’s uncle (as a baby) and grandfather, Gernot and Karl Gönner, Aulfingen, Germany, early 1930s.

The Trouble with Ancestry

Two family histories by Americans connected to Europe’s twentieth century through their fascist grandfathers seek to occupy the void between history and memory.
Bill Gates, testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1998.

Microsoft, Google and Antitrust: Similar Legal Theories in a Different Era

The government’s antitrust case against Google borrows heavily from the landmark lawsuit against Microsoft 25 years ago. But it lacks the same cultural impact.
Oppenheimer movie poster.

Fact, Fiction, and the Father of the Bomb

On Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.”
Graphic of the word "negrophile" spelled out three times

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

Favorite slur too racist? Replace it.
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