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.

  • Can America Handle a 250th Anniversary?

    John Dichtl of the American Association for State and Local History says that Americans want "more help navigating these times, which are probably only going to get worse,” portending brutal battles over the upcoming commemoration. 

  • Untangling Fact and Fiction in the Story of a Nazi-Era Brothel

    Kitty Schmidt's Berlin brothel has been the subject of lurid speculation that its owner was forced by the Nazis to spy on her clients for evidence of subversion and disloyalty. A new book tries to untangle the more complicated history of commercial sex in the Weimar and Nazi eras, but struggles against the pervasiveness of myth. 

  • Should Medicine Discontinue Using Terminology Associated with Nazi Doctors?

    Hans Asperger had been identified as an Oskar Schindler figure in the German medical community, with the diagnosis that bears his name helping to save many people from death under Nazi eugenic policies. But he also helped determine who would fall into the unfavored categories. Historian Edith Sheffer says it's time to retire his name.

  • Review: J.T. Roane Tells Black Philadelphia's History from the Margins

    by Charles W. McKinney

    Roane picks up a challenge offered by W.E.B. DuBois in his pioneering "The Philadelphia Negro" to understand the spaces of alternative and underground social life as important and formative parts of Black urban life in the Great Migration. 

  • Cash Reparations to Japanese Internees Helped Rebuild Autonomy and Dignity

    by Morgan Ome

    Many recent proposals for African American reparations prescribe particular uses for compensation, such as securing housing. But the lesson of the $20,000 payments made to Japanese-American internees and their descendants is that restoring dignity and autonomy means letting recipients decide how to spend any payment for themselves. 

  • Science Historian: Apollo 11 Quarantine after Moon Landing For Show

    Dagomar DeGroot's research shows that NASA scientists were aware of the tiny, but potentially catastrophic, risk of moon-earth contamination, and that quarantining the spacecraft and crew would do little to mitigate the risk but could convince the public that authorities were taking precautions. 

  • Thomas Zimmer on Danger and Hope for Democracy

    The historian and podcaster says hope for a multicultural democracy lies with the young: "Preserving the status quo will not be good enough, and the younger generation understands this better than any other."