Spielberg and Henry Thomas in a scene on the set of E.T.

The Auteur of Fatherhood: How Steven Spielberg Recast American Masculinity

Steven Spielberg’s early films conjure all of his moviemaking magic to repair a world of lost dads.
Father sitting with children

The Rise of the Domestic Husband

In the late 1800s, advice writers targeting white, middle-class Americans began encouraging men to become more engaged in the emotional lives of their households.
Photo Portrait of the King Family, 1966.

Reflections on Juneteenth: Black Civil Rights and the Influence of Fatherhood

From MLK to Obama, advancers for civil rights were driven by their fatherhood and dreams of better life for their own children.
Sonora Smart Dodd; her father, William Jackson Smart.

The Forgotten History of Father's Day

Find out how one woman asked to recognize the fathers in her town and inspired others.
Pen sketch of Robert Frost.

Frost at Midnight

A new volume of Robert Frost’s letters finds him at the height of his artistic powers while suffering an almost unimaginable series of losses.
Photo of a father and young child looking at each other

What It Means to Be a 'Good' Father in America Has Changed. Here's How.

"I think the key change for the invention of the modern father is in the 1920s," says historian Robert L. Griswold.
Image of a father and child walking on a beach.

Mythologizing Fatherhood

Ralph LaRossa explains the problems with mythologizing modern dads and the stereotypes present within views of fatherhood of the past.
Illustration of fantasy elements including a maze and a crystal ball from a "choose-your-own-adventure" scene from a book.

The Enduring Allure of Choose Your Own Adventure Books

How a best-selling series gave young readers a new sense of agency.
T. rex jaws, lower left, 1909–30. Photographer unknown. Image No. 17533, AMNH Library.

He Was an All-Time Genius at Finding Tyrannosaurus Rexes. His Story Will Break Your Heart.

Why Barnum Brown could not stop collecting.
Ben Franklin portrait

'I Long Regretted Bitterly, and Still Regret That I Had Not Given It To Him'

Benjamin Franklin's writing about losing his son to smallpox is a must-read for parents weighing COVID-19 vaccines today.
Black and white photo of four children holding hands and dressed up in 18th century outfits

A Surprising Factor Influenced How the Framers Voted

The more sons a Founding Father had, the more supportive he was of a strong centralized government.
Photo of John Brown holding a flag and raising his right hand as if in oath.

A Hero in the Midst of Cowards

The righteous rage of John Brown.

How My Kid Lost a Game of ‘Magic’ to Its Creator But Scored a Piece of Its Original Art

Ben Marks on all that came of one interview in 1994.

Joe Biden's Audacity of Grief

On the mournful threads connecting his half-century in politics.
Film still of Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.

The Contested Legacy of Atticus Finch

Lee’s beloved father figure was a talking point during the Kavanaugh hearings and is now coming to Broadway. Is he still a hero?

The Erotics of Cy Twombly

Poet Joshua Rivkin’s new book about Cy Twombly is “stranger and more personal than a biography.”

Mark Twain’s Disturbing Passion for Collecting Young Girls

In his later years, the famous writer surrounded himself with a bevy of adoring adolescents.
Billy McComiskey (right) performing Irish music at the Library of Congress with his sons Mikey McComiskey (left) and Patrick McComiskey (center) in 2016. Library of Congress photo by Shawn Miller.

A Few Examples of Dads’ Traditions

Stephanie Hall provides examples of folklore and storytelling within a fathers' relationship to music.

The Dramatic Life and Mysterious Death of Theodosia Burr

The fate of Aaron Burr's daughter remains a topic of contention.

The Man with the Million Dollar Voice

The mighty but divided soul of C.L. Franklin.