Robin Lindley

Robin Lindley is a Seattle-based writer and attorney. He is features editor for the History News Network (hnn.us), and his work also has appeared in Writer’s Chronicle, Crosscut, Documentary, NW Lawyer, Real Change, Huffington Post, Bill Moyers.com, Salon.com, and more. He has a special interest in the history of human rights and medicine. He can be reached by email: robinlindley@gmail.com.

  • Blaine Harden on the Persistence of Marcus Whitman's Myth in the West

    by Robin Lindley

    "The history we learned was a lie, and it was a deliberate lie, one that had been debunked in 1900 by scholars at Yale and in Chicago. But the people of the Pacific Northwest, despite all evidence to the contrary, had clung to a story that was baloney. That's what hooked me."

  • David Maraniss Follows Jim Thorpe's "Path Lit by Lighting"

    by Robin Lindley

    The first comprehensive biography of the acclaimed Native athlete shifts the frame from "tragedy" to "persistence against the odds" in parallel to the changes and challenges facing Native American people in the early 20th century. 

  • Ken Burns Discusses His New Photographic History of America

    by Robin Lindley

    I have had the great privilege and opportunity of operating in that special space between the U.S. and “us” for decades—and if I have learned one thing, it is that there is only “us,” no “them.”—Ken Burns, Our America

  • An Insider's Look at Congress With Former Rep. Jim McDermott

    by Robin Lindley

    As only the second psychiatrist to serve in Congress (and the first in the modern era), the former representative of the Seattle region offers keen insight into the motives of his colleagues and the work of legislation. His new book also highlights his vision of a more humane society. 

  • Matthew Delmont on his Epic History of Black Americans' Experience of World War II

    by Robin Lindley

    "Black activists in the Black press recognized what a tremendous danger Nazism and that racial ideology posed to the world because they saw the commonalities between how Jews were being treated in Europe and how Black people were being treated in the American South. And they called out those similarities explicitly."

  • Director Lynn Novick on the New Holocaust Documentary

    by Robin Lindley

    "We decided we had to go back to the 19th century—to the ideals behind the Statue of Liberty and our values as a society. And then we looked at how we lived up to or did not live up to those values when push came to shove in the 1930s and 1940s."

  • Samuel Moyn on His Recent "Humane" and More

    by Robin Lindley

    "I also discovered Tolstoy developed a set of disquieting worries about making war humane that have turned out to be prophetic of our partial success in doing so in our time."




  • Lindsey Fitzharris on Visionary Surgeon Harold Gillies

    by Robin Lindley

    In "The Facemaker," Lindsey Fitzharris tells the story of the British surgeon Harold Gillies, who pioneered reconstructive surgeries for the horrific facial wounds suffered by soldiers in the first world war. 

  • Jonathan Katz on Smedley Butler and American Empire

    by Robin Lindley

    The author of "Gangsters of Capitalism" discusses Marine Corps General Smedley Butler, who manned the front lines of American imperialism but also blew the whistle on an alleged coup plot against FDR.