intellectual history

  • The Decline of Intellectual History is a Problem

    by Steven Mintz

    Ideas matter, and the eclipse of the field of intellectual history puts an understanding of important ones in jeopardy. Even as intellectual history broadens and diversifies, it is still associated with the thoughts of elites. 

  • "Nature" Editors Acknowledge Journal's Contributions to Scientific Racism

    The leading cross-disciplinary science publication acknowledges that it has given a platform to the scientifically discredited writings of eugenicists and has an ongoing obligation to ensure that it does not offer further support for oppression justified by the authority of science. 

  • Economism as a Red Scare Legacy

    by Landon Storrs

    An economic historian traces the rise of neoliberal political economy to the post-WWII Red Scare, when Keynesians were driven out of government service under suspicion of disloyalty. 

  • Virtue and Vice: Looking for the Real Adam Smith

    by Glory Liu

    Smith's work on political economy has long been seen in tension with his investigation of empathy and other moral sentiments. Paul Sagar's new book argues that scholars have mistaken Smith's intentions in order to falsely reconcile the market and morality. 

  • The Bitter Irony of Rushdie Being Attacked at Chautauqua

    by Charlotte M. Canning

    Chautauqua was founded for the discussion of ideas, and while the attack shows there is no perfect asylum from repression, the Institution's survival represents the ongoing commitment to education and civic discussion. 

  • How Trumpism Changed the Claremont Institute (and Vice-Versa)

    The actions of John Eastman in urging the rejection of the 2020 election results and urging Trump supporters to storm the capitol raise questions for both participants and critics about how far the Claremont Institute should go in putting ideas into action. 

  • What Conservative Justices Get Wrong About the Founders

    by Timothy C. Leech

    It's preposterous to argue that the Founders, men of the Enlightenment generation, would have intended for the constitution they drafted to be immutable and unchanging. 

  • Michael Hattem on the Creation of "American History"

    Michael Hattem discusses his book which argues that the creation of a particularly American historical memory was a nation-building project that began from the first moments of independence. 

  • Explaining the Complexities of the Great Vibe Shift

    by Tom F. Wright

    As pundits invoke the nebulous concept of "vibes" to try to explain and predict incoherent and emotionally volatile politics, it's worth considering how the outdated (but not very old!) concept of charisma has served the same role. 

  • What's Really New about the "New" American Right?

    by John Ganz

    There's something familiar about a secular nationalist movement that mobilizes property owners through a narrative of national decline and the promise of controlling or purging enemies of a unified people through force, recently described in a Times op-ed. If only there were a word for it....

  • The Asian-Canadian Gay Pioneer Theorist of Sexuality

    by Laurie Marhoefer

    Li Shiu Tong, the partner of better-known German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, was an important theorist and activist whose once-lost writings anticipated today's politics of gay rights and liberation. 

  • How History Came to Matter

    by Steve Mintz

    Academic historians' worthy insistence on cultivating expertise and methodological rigor can't come at the expense of working to alter public understanding of the past now that the stakes of that understanding are so high. 

  • Midge Decter: An Overlooked Intellectual Forerunner of Trumpism

    by Ronnie Grinberg

    By connecting social turmoil to the decline of traditional family and gender roles even before Roe or the rise of second-wave feminism, Midge Decter created a foundation for the politics of family values. 

  • The Democratic Potential of China's Grassroots Intellectuals

    by Sebastian Veg

    Chinese intellectuals working outside the protection of state-controlled universites have a perilous existence, but carry on the struggle against the regime's efforts to impose orthodoxy on the nation's history. 

  • The Intellectual History of the Black "New South"

    by Robert Greene II

    A new generation of African American thinkers is examining whether the South is the place where Black advancement can best be achieved. Intellectual history warns that myths of a "New South" have come and gone before, undermined by their inattention to power.