Articles in History

The Making of the Self-Made Man

How America came to worship the men who style themselves as heroic entrepreneurs and innovators in the mold of Thomas Edison.

Beware Thoughtless Hitler Comparisons

Studying Nazism is important, and there are useful analogies to our time. But the “Hitler card” is easy to play. When Hitler and Nazis are referenced, we need to interrogate the motives and assumptions behind the comparisons, which are often superficial and misleading.

The Great American World War II Story

The U.S. National WWII Museum buries the gruesome realities and uncomfortable moral complexities. Until Americans grasp the reality of war, they will not be sufficiently committed to making sure wars do not happen.

Taking World War III Seriously

The Cold War ended but the threat of nuclear war has not. At least the Cold War generation actually took the threat of future world war seriously. It’s time for a renewed push for global disarmament.

The Afterlives of Che

What can the Left learn from the life of one of the twentieth century’s most visible political icons?

The Right-Wing Story About Human Nature Is False

Are we naturally violent, power-hungry, and greedy? Rutger Bregman’s book “Humankind” devastates the myth of human selfishness.

How The Titanic Haunts Us

We have good reason to remember the story of what happened to hubristic rich people, and the imprisoned poor, in an enormous opulent floating palace.

The Echoes of Hitler

Reading “Mein Kampf” shows how much continuity there is between the anti-egalitarian Nazi rhetoric that produced the Holocaust and today’s mainstream right-wing beliefs.

Adventures in 19th Century Socialism

H.M. Hyndman was a buffoon and bigot who nevertheless left behind a fascinating account of the early decades of radical politics.

Medieval Dreams and Far Right Nightmares

The cultural obsession with the idea of the Middle Ages—rather than its historical reality—has led us all into perilous, right-wing realms.

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