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Roundup



  • The Senate is a Long-Term Threat to Democracy

    by Thomas Zimmer

    The idea that the Senate is "the world's greatest deliberative body" is American exceptionalism that hides the undemocratic nature of the institution.



  • You Can't Teach What You Don't Know

    by Jonathan Zimmerman

    Lost in the controveries about what history teachers should teach is the deeper issue of how well-prepared they are to teach history classes effectively. Too many history teachers study too little history in their training. 



  • Americans Misunderstand the Radical Vision of even the Young MLK

    by Victoria W. Wolcott

    Long before the escalation of the war in Vietnam, urban unrest and national battles for fair housing that animated King's late work, he expressed a vision of justice that demanded systemic transformation of American society. His wife Coretta was a profound influence. 



  • The Dark Side of NASA Under James Webb

    by Ken Lawrence

    Evidence suggests that NASA cut corners on safety to beat the Soviets in the space race; the phrase "the lowest bidder" resonated throughout the space community in the early 1960s.



  • The Elusive Guantanamo Endgame

    by Karen J. Greenberg

    "In the legal quagmire the U.S. has created, there is, in fact, no easy solution to closing Guantanamo."



  • The End of Democracy won't Look Like You Think It Will

    by Tom Nichols

    The authoritarian right isn't motivated or organized enough to create the kind of dystopia some fear. But federalism means that significant chunks of the Formerly-United States will turn the clock back to the late 1950s. 



  • Only Fools Replay Doomsday

    by William Astore

    The author worked at NORAD's headquarters under Cheyenne Mountain at the height of the Cold War and wonders why, having emerged the nominal victors of one round of military escalation toward armageddon, American policymakers seem willing to enter another. 



  • Bronx Fire Shows the Perils and Politics of Home Heating

    by Rebecca Wright

    Landlords and tenants have long fought over the benefits and costs of heat, with municipal codes serving as the referee. This month's deadly fire shows the consequences of regulatory neglect.



  • Native on TV in 2021

    by Liza Black

    "Where 20th- and early 21st-century shows used Native characters in superficial ways, perhaps to create an appearance of diversity, Reservation Dogs and Rutherford Falls center Indigenous characters, themes, and content, decolonizing conventional television narratives about Native people."



  • Is the Right Wing Fringe Moving Beyond Trump?

    by Thomas Lecaque

    "The most difficult part of riding a tiger, as the saying goes, is dismounting—and Donald Trump is riding a tiger of conspiracy-theorizing, apocalypse-chasing, murderous wackos."



  • Now or Never to Stop US Descent to Authoritarian Rule

    by Thomas Zimmer

    The Republican Party has operated on the core propositions that the Democratic opposition and its core constituencies are fundamentally illegitimate long before Donald Trump. Biden's victory shouldn't obscure how close they are to establishing permanent minority rule. 



  • Orban and Putin Don't do Debates Either

    by Ruth Ben-Ghiat

    The news that the Republican National Committee will boycott the Commission on Presidential Debates echoes the actions of authoritarians who reject the principle of political toleration and the very legitimacy of the opposition. 



  • Covidtests.gov is the Right Move, but More Needs to be Done

    by David M. Perry

    So far, the idea of directly distributing tests from the government to the public through the post office seems like a winner. But it remains to be seen if there is sufficient political will and resources to actually commit to cutting out middlemen and giving Americans tools to protect their health.



  • The Existential Crisis of the Winter Games is a Long Time Coming

    by Bruce Berglund

    Avery Brundage of the International Olympic Committee had many faults, but he understood that the Winter Olympics were increasingly out of step with a sporting world less focused on Europe and North America and less tolerant of the massive expenditure needed to host the games.



  • Trump's NPR Interview Shows the Hazard of Giving Him Airtime

    by Federico Finchelstein

    The history of fascism shows that it's a mistake for the news media to treat propagandists as honest actors. They'll exploit the free press to promote their ideas, but crush independent journalism at the first opportunity.



  • The True History Behind HBO's "The Gilded Age"

    by Kimberly A. Hamlin

    The new series follows fictional characters but is well-grounded in the innovations and inequalities that characterized urban America in the late nineteenth century, thanks in large part to the work of the show's historical consultant Professor Eric Armstrong Dunbar.