Philip Roth.

Remembering Philip Roth

Philip Roth's work could only have been written by someone who came of age during the peak of postwar liberalism.
Prolific spy novelist John le Carré at his desk.

Coming in from the Cold

On spy fiction.

Reconsidering the Jewish American Princess

How the JAP became America’s most complex Jewish stereotype.
Friends and relatives of 1,786 passengers on the United States Liner Washington throng the pier as the big ship pulls in, ending a voyage from Europe, June 21, 1940.

The Stowaway Craze

The "celebrity stowaways" of the Jazz Age reached levels of virality similar to today's social media stars.
A still from The Golden Girls 1990 episode,

Deconstructing HIV and AIDS on The Golden Girls

In 1990, one of America's most beloved sitcoms took on the HIV epidemic with humor and sensitivity.
nytimes.com, Oct. 2, 2018.

The Racist Politics of the English Language

How we went from “racist” to “racially tinged.”
The cover of George Orwell's

Here are the Biggest Fiction Bestsellers of the Last 100 Years

(And what everyone read instead.)

The Photos That Lifted Up the Black Is Beautiful Movement

For over 50 years, photographer Kwame Brathwaite captured African-American beauty and fashion, giving visual power to black power.
Orson Welles performs H.G. Wells'

What War of the Worlds Did

The uncanny realism of Orson Welles’s radio play crystallised a fear of communication technology that haunts us today.
Cover of

How A Corporation Convinced American Jews To Reach For Crisco

A Proctor & Gamble ad-man on the Lower East Side recognized a big marketing opportunity when he saw one.

Cute as a Button? Think Twice

A new book examines the first generation of button-pushing Americans at the turn of the 20th century.
A group of men surround a pinball machine at a club in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, January 1941.

What the Popularity of 'Fortnite' Has in Common With the 20th Century Pinball Craze

Long before parents freaked over the ubiquitous video game, they flipped out over another newfangled fad.