An undated portrait of British writer George Orwell, author of

“1984” at Seventy

Why we still read Orwell’s book of prophecy.
Max Patkin, the

How Superstition and the Opera Gave Birth to Mascots

The dark origins of the first mascots.
Journalist Murray Kempton (ca. 1958).

A Homecoming for Murray Kempton

Looking at the reporter’s life through five houses in Baltimore.
Harvey Ball (seated) at 35th Anniversary of Smiley public signing event in Worcester, MA on July 18, 1998.

No Laughing Matter

The evolution of the iconic smiley face and some of its not so happy connotations.
Alexander Calder's sculpture 'Flamingo' outside of the Kluczynski Federal Building in Chicago, Illinois.

How Alexander Calder Became America's Most Beloved Sculptor

In an exclusive excerpt from his new book, 'Calder: The Conquest of Time,' Jed Perl reveals a hidden side of the artist.
Portrait photograph of Henry David Thoreau (1856).

Wild Thing: A New Biography of Thoreau

Freeing Thoreau from layers of caricature that have long distorted his legacy.
“Ban the Bombers” protest march in New York on May 8, 1963.

Richard Avedon and James Baldwin’s Joint Examination of American Identity

Their 1964 collaboration, "Nothing Personal," brought together aspects of American life and culture through photographs and text.
President Richard Nixon, First Lady Patricia Nixon, June Carter Cash, and Johnny Cash on stage after the Cashs'

When Pat Buchanan Brought Johnny Cash to the Nixon White House

It didn't go exactly as planned. But for TAC's founder, this is where his populist antiwar movement may have begun.
Promotional poster for the film

The Real Refugees of Casablanca

When it came to gathering refugees, the waiting room of the US consulate was probably the closest thing to Rick’s Café Américain.
War correspondent Ernie Pyle, center, sits with a U.S. Army tank crew at the Anzio Beachhead in Italy (1944).

The Man Who Told America the Truth About D-Day

Ernie Pyle's World War II dispatches offered comfort to readers back home. Then D-Day changed his perspective on the war’s costs.
Rihanna at a red carpet event.

Rihanna Reveals the Story Behind her Latest Collection’s Imagery

How the 1960s Black Is Beautiful movement inspired her latest Fenty fashion collection.
A poster for Netflix miniseries

The Central Park Five: ‘We Were Just Baby Boys’

The men, whose story will be brought to life in Netflix’s “When They See Us,” discuss the mini-series with their onscreen counterparts.