A drawing of French military leader Marquis de Lafayette and General George Washington at the Valley Forge encampment of the Continental Army during the winter of 1777–78.

George Washington Was a Master of Deception

The Founding Fathers relied on deceit in championing American independence—and that has lessons for the present.

In America's Panopticon

Sarah Igo’s "The Known Citizen" examines the linked histories of privacy and surveillance in the United States.
Ku Klux Klan parade in Washington D.C., 1926.

Voices in Time: The KKK Makes Its Case in Mass Media

The author of "The Second Coming of the KKK" shows an early twentieth-century attempt to go mainstream.
Coughing Vietnamese women and children emerge from a hole from which they had been flushed by troops of the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division using smoke and tear gas during Operation Eagle's Claw at Bong Son on February 12, 1966.

Tear Gas and the U.S. Border

How did it come to pass that a weapon banned for military use was deployed against asylum-seekers on the U.S. border?
A campaign poster featuring William McKinley holding U.S. flag and standing on gold coin (

America’s Tariff Men: Connecting McKinley to Trump

Trump says he wants to see us return to the high tariff days of William McKinley. Is history repeating itself?
Demonstrators rally in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) outside the Capitol, on the second day of a federal shutdown triggered by Democrats seeking a deal to protect DACA (Jan. 21, 2018).

Democracy Is Norm Erosion

Sometimes you have to break the rules to create a more democratic system.
The title page of Thomas Paine's Common Sense (1776).

The Attention Economy of the American Revolution

How Twitter bots help us understand the founding era.
Thousands of Americans march near the U.S. Capitol August 28, 1963 at a civil rights rally.

This, Our Second Nadir

Why the Trump Era demands a better understanding of how racism got us into this mess.
Judge Clarence Thomas with President Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine,  following a news conference introducing Thomas as the nominee to replace retiring Justice Thurgood Marshall, July 1, 1991.

The Power of Supreme Court Choices

A combative approach from George H.W. Bush put Clarence Thomas on the court and and has been embraced by Mitch McConnell's GOP.
Whistleblower and ex-CIA agent Philip Agee in the Netherlands on December 19, 1977.

The Forgotten Story of the Julian Assange of the 1970s

Decades before WikiLeaks, Philip Agee’s magazine blew the cover of more than 2,000 CIA officers.
A wood engraving depicting fugitive slaves escaping from the eastern shore of Maryland (1872).

The Question Without a Solution

The horrors of the fugitive slave laws, the costs of union, and the value of comity.
Wendelll Willkie at a New York City radio station, Oct. 26, 1942.

A Love Letter to an Extinct Creature: The Liberal Republican

“The Improbable Wendell Willkie” offers a look at how American politics might have been.