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Historians in the News

This page features brief excerpts of stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.




  • Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham on the AP Af-Am Studies Controversy

    by Olivia B. Waxman

    The Harvard historian, one of the principal evaluators of the AP curriculum, says that the most prominent public statements about the pilot course reflect misunderstanding or deception about what its contents really are. 



  • Organization of American Historians Statement on AP African American Studies

    "The OAH further rejects the characterization of these scholars and their scholarship as examples of “woke indoctrination,” and instead recognize them as central to the interdisciplinary research and teaching of African American history and culture, as well as American history more broadly."



  • How the Right Got Waco Wrong

    by Paul Renfro

    Historian Paul Renfro reviews Kevin Cook's new book, which seeks to explain how the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian cult's Waco compound became a totem for the right while also decrying the aggressive law enforcement tactics that escalated the situation toward mass death. 



  • A Reading List of Authors Removed from the AP African American Studies Course

    The College Board has made revisions to its pilot African American Studies course that appear to follow the criticisms made by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Here's a collection of essays by many of the scholars representing diverse Black intellectual traditions whose ideas will not be part of the course going forward. 



  • Julia Schleck on The Function of the University Today

    by Michael Meranze

    Julia Schleck's work ties the idea of academic freedom to the social role of the university and its internal labor practices, which threatens scholars with attacks from inside and outside the campus. 



  • The Bitter, Contested History of Globalization

    Tara Zahra's book places the conflicts of the middle of the 20th century in the context of profound global debates about how interconnected the world should be, and on whose terms. 



  • Why Can't the Democrats Build a Governing Majority? (Review of Timothy Shenk)

    by Kim Phillips-Fein

    In an implicit response to Richard Hofstadter's finding of the continuity of a narrow "American Political Tradition," Timothy Shenk examines the ways that activists have occasionally disrupted the political order and convinced people to "take a leap into an unknown future."



  • Victimhood and Vengeance: The Reactionary Roots of Christian Nationalism

    by Linda Greenhouse

    Three books offer illuminating and distressing insight on the eruption of Christian nationalism, a "deep story" in American cultural history that, when its adherents feel denied the power they expect, guides potentially violent vengeance. 



  • Kidada Williams on The Reconstruction that Wasn't

    In the new "I Saw Death Coming," Williams describes a "shadow Confederacy" that refused to cede freedom or dignity to African Americans who often lived far from the reach of a federal government that was unreliably committed to their protection. 



  • How the Russian Jews Became Soviet

    The novelist Gary Shteyngart, who emigrated from the USSR to the US as a child, reviews Sasha Senderovich's "How the Soviet Jew was Made," a work that gives short shrift to neither the "Soviet" nor "Jewish" sides of the question.