The Falling Man (2001).

The Falling Man

Since 9/11 the story behind the Falling Man, and the search for him, is our most intimate connection to the horror of that day.
Playboy editor and tycoon Hugh Hefner is greeted by a group of bunny girls from his Playboy Clubs, upon his arrival at London Airport.

Up Against the Centerfold

What it was like to report on feminism for Playboy in 1969
Twede's Cafe in North Bend, WA, 2008.

The Mystique of the American Diner, From Jack Kerouac to “Twin Peaks”

Freedom, fear and friendliness mingle in these emblematic eateries.
Gift display in a fashion shop on Saville Row, Newcastle upon Tyne (1966).

Retail Therapy

What our mannequins say about us.
A disloyal boyfriend notices a passing woman in a stock photo that became a popular meme.

Jump-Rope Songs Were Once a Cornerstone of American Folklore. Now It’s Memes.

The Library of Congress is turning to the internet for a new generation of shared culture.
Portrait photograph of Henry David Thoreau (1856).

The True American

A review on the many publications about Henry David Thoreau's life for the bicentennial anniversary of his birthday.
American poet Walt Whitman. This image was made in 1887 in New York, by photographer George C. Cox.

Walt Whitman—Patriotic Poet, Gay Iconoclast, or Shrewd Marketing Ploy?

Americans tend to think of Walt Whitman as the embodiment of democracy and individualism, but have you ever considered Walt Whitman, the brand?
Main Street in Pioneertown, California, a fake

The Lies Americans Learn From Old West Theme Parks

As the nation debates monuments and public memory, it’s important to understand how other cultural sites help people learn (false) history.
Chinatown in San Francisco, CA, 2006.

How Chop Suey Saved San Francisco's Chinatown

For Chinese immigrants, surviving in America has always required intense strategy.
The cast of Miss Saigon performs onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City.

The Vietnam War That Never Goes Away

Popular theater productions and Hollywood movies about the Vietnam War have a continued place in popular culture and memory.
Image from Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “Apes**t” video.

Blackening the Louvre Museum

Beyoncé, Jay Z, and the legacies of slavery.
A 1961 Ore-Ida truck featuring its most popular product, the tator tot.

The Tater Tot Is American Ingenuity at Its Finest

The genius move that turned potato scraps into a frozen-food empire