A print depicting the surrender by General Lee to General Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, April 9, 1865.

The Civil War Isn’t Over

More than 150 years after Appomattox, Americans are still fighting over the great issues at the heart of the conflict.
L-R: Martin Luther King, Jr., Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, NAACP Executive Director Roy Wilkins, and Vice President Lyndon Johnson, June 1963.

Misremembering 1968

Fifty years later, the legacies of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy still loom large.

The Vanishing Indians of “These Truths”

Jill Lepore's widely-praised history of the U.S. relies on the eventual exit of indigenous actors to make way for other dramas.
A woman dropping her teacup in horror upon discovering the monstrous contents of a magnified drop of Thames water; revealing the impurity of London drinking water. Colored etching by W. Heath, 1828.

What Does History Smell Like?

Scholars don't typically pay that much attention to smells, but odors have historically been quite significant.

Best American History Reads of 2018

Bunk's editor shares some of his favorite pieces from the year.
Veterans Memorial at Old North Church.

How Should We Memorialize Those Lost in the War on Terror?

Americans have erected countless monuments to past wars. But how do we pay tribute to the fallen in a conflict that may never end?
Negative of a portrait of Frederick Douglass (bet. 1865 and 1880).

David Blight on Frederick Douglass, Abolition, and Memory

An interview with David Blight about his new book on Douglass, memory and tragedy, autobiography, and why history still matters.
Three men posing in the uniform of the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization composed of Union veterans of the Civil War (ca. 1892).

The Grave and the Gay: The Civil War on the Gilded Age Lecture Circuit

In the years after the Civil War, lecturers like E. L. Allen regaled audiences with heartwarming and dramatic tales of battle.

How Peter Jackson Made WWI Footage Seem Astonishingly New

The director restored archival combat film to pristine clarity for “They Shall Not Grow Old.”

America’s Original Sin

Slavery and the legacy of white supremacy.

3 Reasons the American Revolution Was a Mistake

Washington changed the world forever when he crossed the Delaware—for the worse.
The colonies of Barbados and Jamaica were the major centers of the British American trade, where slaves from Africa were reshipped to many locations in North, South, and Central America.

Beyond the Middle Passage

Intra-American trafficking magnified slavery’s impact.