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  • Originally published 07/19/2018

    Mr. Trump goes to Helsinki

    William R. Polk

    Hard truths we need to face.  One of which is this: Mr. Trump’s boorishness is not the issue.

  • Originally published 07/16/2018

    Trump and the Return of Divine Right

    David Armitage

    In deploying his pardon power freely and using the Bible to justify family separation, the president is exactly the sort of ruler that Enlightenment thinkers feared.

  • Originally published 07/13/2018

    Meet the Trumpverstehers

    Eliot A. Cohen

    We know about the president’s most vocal supporters. But what about his more discreet following?

  • Originally published 07/12/2018

    The History Test

    Jill Lepore

    How should the courts use history?

  • Originally published 07/09/2018

    Abolishing ICE Doesn’t Go Far Enough

    Elliott Young

    Abolishing ICE is like a demand to abolish fugitive slave catching. It’s a good move, but it’s not the same as abolishing slavery.

  • Originally published 07/09/2018

    Ron Chernow on the Midterm Elections of 1866

    Amy Davidson Sorkin

    In 1866, President Andrew Johnson pressured Ulysses S. Grant into joining him in a series of rallies where he aired his vulgarity and racism.

  • Originally published 07/05/2018

    The Myth of the Liberal Order

    Graham Allison

    Among the current, potentially mortal threats to the global order, Trump is one, but not the most important.

  • Originally published 07/05/2018

    "Abolish ICE" is a massive political mistake

    Julian Zelizer

    While focusing on ICE is an extremely important debate, and dismantling the agency might the be the best policy decision, it carries enormous short-term political risks for the Democrats going into the midterm elections.

  • Originally published 07/01/2018

    This Is How FDR Tried to Pack the Supreme Court

    The Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, commonly referred to as the “court-packing plan,” was Roosevelt’s attempt to appoint up to six additional justices to the Supreme Court for every justice older than 70 years, 6 months, who had served 10 years or more.

  • Originally published 06/26/2018

    Pompeo on What Trump Wants

    Walter Russell Mead

    An interview with Trump’s top diplomat on America First and ‘the need for a reset.’

  • Originally published 06/25/2018

    Evangelical Fear Elected Trump

    John Fea

    The history of evangelicalism in America is shot through with fear—but it also contains an alternative.

  • Originally published 06/25/2018

    Good News for Republicans, It's Not 2006

    For, one, Trump’s job approval rating in the Gallup survey is 45 percent, eight points higher than the dismal 37 percent where George W. Bush was sitting at this point in 2006.

  • Originally published 06/25/2018

    It Can Happen Here

    Jim Sleeper

    Don’t underestimate the depths to which Donald Trump and his enablers will go to punish their political enemies.

  • Originally published 06/15/2018

    The Trump Cult

    Ed Simon

    It’s a particularly American phenomenon.

  • Originally published 06/15/2018

    Is the West in Disarray?

    Bruce W. Dearstyne

    That sounds like a topic from another era. But it’s shockingly of the moment.

  • Originally published 06/14/2018

    Lessons From the Gilded Age

    Sarah Jones

    America today has a lot in common with that bygone era of monopolies and gross inequality. But will the country respond similarly?

  • Originally published 06/14/2018

    Trump retreats from US moral leadership stance

    Though Trump is far from the first U.S. president to work with an unsavory counterpart to achieve a strategic goal, his decision to broadcast that he tacitly accepts Kim’s history of atrocities was a sharp break from the past, says the AP.

  • Originally published 06/14/2018

    Closest allies sour on U.S.

    The decline is evident in polls in Canada, Germany, Japan, UK, France and Italy. But in Russia US popularity is on the upswing.

  • Originally published 06/13/2018

    Will Trump Be Nixon in China?

    Andrew Preston

    The president's meeting with Kim Jong Un could go more like Eisenhower with Khrushchev—which wouldn't be good.

  • Originally published 06/11/2018

    Roger Stone Encouraged Trump to Pardon Marcus Garvey

    One of Donald Trump’s longest and closest associates has encouraged the president to grant a posthumous pardon to Marcus Garvey, the pan-African advocate and black nationalist who became a forebearer of the modern civil rights movement.

  • Originally published 06/06/2018

    Why RFK's assassination still matters today

    Leonard Steinhorn

    As we look back on Robert Kennedy's death, we can trace a straight line from that tragic moment 50 years ago at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles to the racial resentments and grievances that Richard Nixon validated to the presidency of Donald J. Trump today.

  • Originally published 06/05/2018

    Donald Trump: L’Etat, C’est Moi!

    Ed Simon

    When Trump and his lawyers make claims about the absolute power of the presidency they’re not committing gaffes – they’re issuing warnings.

  • Originally published 05/28/2018

    Which Side Are You on?

    Ed Simon

    That’s the question that now faces us in this moment of peril.

  • Originally published 05/22/2018

    Trumpism Is the New McCarthyism

    Ellen Schrecker

    Just as as McCarthyism did decades ago, Trumpism conceals the Republican Party’s long-term program to dismantle the public sector.

  • Originally published 05/21/2018

    Obama’s Legacy Has Already Been Destroyed

    Andrew Sullivan

    In one respect the presidency of Donald Trump has been remarkably successful. In 17 months, he has effectively erased Barack Obama’s two-term legacy.

  • Originally published 05/15/2018

    Trump, Iran and American Power

    Walter Russell Mead

    The president sees Tehran’s overreach as an opportunity to arrest U.S. decline.

  • Originally published 05/10/2018

    The Presidency Is Too Big to Succeed

    Jeremi Suri

    The problems of presidential gigantism can’t be solved by finding the right giant—the office is dying from its own undisciplined growth.

  • Originally published 05/09/2018

    The Implications of Voiding the Iran Nuclear Deal

    William R. Polk

    Even if it is not immediately a world at war, it will be a sort of concentration camp of terror, enervating fear of accident or design, of death and destruction.

  • Originally published 04/28/2018

    A Century of Feuding Between Presidents and the Press

    Julian E. Zelizer

    Years before it began its annual dinner, the White House Correspondents’ Association started as an effort to hold the president accountable to the press—a mission as urgent as ever.

  • Originally published 04/17/2018

    Watergate Redux?

    James D. Robenalt

    The parallels are stunning.

  • Originally published 04/16/2018

    The End of the Trump Presidency Now Looms

    Ronald L. Feinman

    While it now seems likely that Trump will outlast the 492 days of Zachary Taylor’s presidency, it’s doubtful his term will last as long as Warren Harding’s.

  • Originally published 04/16/2018

    Where is Republican courage?

    Richard Moe

    That’s the question the country has been hearing, and asking, during the first 15 months of the Trump presidency.

  • Originally published 04/11/2018

    The End of Impeachment

    Elizabeth Drew

    How both Republicans and Democrats are undermining a crucial constitutional tool to oust an unfit president.

  • Originally published 04/11/2018

    How Trump Channels the 1970s

    Julian E. Zelizer

    The one consistent message coming out of the White House was born in the 1970s: Don’t trust any institution.

  • Originally published 04/11/2018

    When presidents lawyer up: A brief history

    Steven Lubet

    President Trump’s difficulty finding lawyers who will represent him in his current legal troubles tells us much about his leadership style and the advice he is willing to accept.

  • Originally published 03/28/2018

    How We Got Trump

    Donne Levy

    The change in our political structure that led directly to Trump’s election.

  • Originally published 03/22/2018

    Fighting Words

    Sean Wilentz

    No, “liberal” and “progressive” aren’t synonyms. They have completely different histories—and the differences matter.

  • Originally published 03/22/2018

    Will Trump break American democracy?

    With Trump as president, we find ourselves asking again: How strong is support for democracy in America really? Could Americans actually let an authoritarian strongman trample on our democratic norms?

  • Originally published 03/19/2018

    The Last Temptation

    Michael Gerson

    How evangelicals, once culturally confident, became an anxious minority seeking political protection from the least traditionally religious president in living memory.

  • Originally published 03/08/2018

    Is Trump About to Start a Trade War?

    Ruchir Sharma

    The alarmists are getting a bit ahead of the story. Periods of deglobalization tend to be slow processes, not sudden events.

  • Originally published 03/06/2018

    Today’s Eerie Echoes of the Civil War

    Manisha Sinha

    We would do well to pay heed to the old enmities bubbling up in our politics: it is not that we are on the verge of another civil war, but that the Civil War never truly ended.

  • Originally published 03/05/2018

    Is Trump Losing It?

    Robert Brent Toplin

    His erratic behavior is reminding some of Nixon at the end of his presidency.

  • Originally published 03/05/2018

    Who Does She Stand For?

    Paul A. Kramer

    As the Statue of Liberty turned 100, our long battle over immigration was having its moment in Reagan’s America.

  • Originally published 03/05/2018

    There are echoes of the Fugitive Slave Act in today's immigration debate

    Harold Meyerson

    Just as the slave catchers argued, speciously, that freed Negroes imperiled the antebellum North, today's anti-immigrant forces, beginning with Trump, argue that immigrants pose a threat to public safety, though crime has fallen precipitously during the past quarter-century.

  • Originally published 02/27/2018

    History Trumps Hyperbole

    Scot Faulkner

    The outrage over foreign meddling in America’s political system is justified. Declaring it the worst ever experienced is not.

  • Originally published 02/23/2018

    Reagan was the Gipper. Trump is the grifter.

    Max Boot

    During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump acolytes claimed that he was the second coming of Ronald Reagan. A perfectly plausible proposition, if you know nothing about Reagan or Trump.

  • Originally published 02/22/2018

    McMaster could leave WH after months of tension with Trump

    With tensions flaring between President Donald Trump and national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the Pentagon is considering options that would allow the President to potentially move the three-star general out of his current role and back into the military, according to half a dozen defense and administration officials.

  • Originally published 02/16/2018

    When Immigrants Were Welcomed

    Jim Sleeper

    Congress has failed immigrants again. But in the 1920s, this plan quieted xenophobes and nurtured new Americans.

  • Originally published 02/14/2018

    White House hosts Black History Month event

    Trump was joined at the event by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Surgeon General Jerome Adams, the only two senior Trump administration officials who are black.

  • Originally published 02/09/2018

    FDR had a military parade, too

    Susan Dunn

    It was in January 1941, after Franklin D. Roosevelt's inauguration to an unprecedented third term in office.

  • Originally published 02/05/2018

    The complex history of ‘In God We Trust’

    David Mislin

    In his first State of the Union address President Donald Trump sought to link religion with American identity. But the history of “In God We Trust” is more complex than Trump’s assertion suggests.

  • Originally published 02/01/2018

    Trump Falsely Claims Largest Audience In History

    The president’s claim is not backed up by Nielsen’s numbers, which show Barack Obama at 48 million viewers in 2010, George W. Bush at 51.7 million in 202 and Bill Clinton at 45.8 million in 1994.

  • Originally published 01/31/2018

    Are Puerto Ricans White?

    Jonathan Harrison

    That’s what Tucker Carlson claimed when defending Trump from charges he neglected the island because he’s racist. Here’s the backstory.

  • Originally published 01/29/2018

    Out of Control

    Julian E. Zelizer

    Nixon’s excesses prompted Congress to reassert its own powers, but those changes eroded over time. Now, Trump is demonstrating anew all the dangers of unchecked executive authority.

  • Originally published 01/22/2018

    The Trump Presidency: Year One

    One year ago Saturday, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, kicking off an unpredictable year.

  • Originally published 01/22/2018

    They Were Bad. He May Be Worse.

    Sean Wilentz

    The best way to evaluate President Trump's first year in office is to compare him not with the great presidents but with the worst.

  • Originally published 01/22/2018

    Corey Robin’s “The Reactionary Mind” helps explain Trumpism

    Lily Geismer

    The book argues that the right has increasingly come to understand that in order to defend the old regime and preserve the power of elites they have to build alliances with the masses, and practice a form of “upside-down populism.”

  • Originally published 01/22/2018

    Trump’s first year: A damage assessment

    Tom Nichols

    From high-profile firings to contentious remarks, the ups and downs of President Trump's first year on the job garnered him historically low approval ratings.

  • Originally published 01/18/2018

    Trump Is Mentally Ill

    Richard Striner

    His illness involves his deep-seated need for desecration.

  • Originally published 01/17/2018

    Paying for Climate Change

    Stephen Macekura

    Despite his extreme rhetoric, Trump is merely the latest in a long line of U.S. leaders unwilling to pony up for global environmental accords.

  • Originally published 01/16/2018

    Hawaii False Alarm Hints at Thin Line Between Mishap and Nuclear War

    Nuclear experts are warning, using some of their most urgent language since President Trump took office, that Hawaii’s false alarm, in which state agencies alerted locals to a nonexistent missile attack, underscores a growing risk of unintended nuclear war with North Korea.

  • Originally published 01/12/2018

    The Death Cult of Trumpism

    Greg Grandin

    Through racism and nationalism, Trump leverages tribal resentment against an emerging manifest common destiny.

  • Originally published 01/10/2018

    Confused readers are buying the wrong ‘Fire and Fury’

    “It amused me and part of me thought, can people really be that dumb to be confusing these books?” Randall Hanson, the author of “Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-1945” told the Guardian.

  • Originally published 01/06/2018

    Teaching Conservatism in the Age of Trump

    Historians who teach U.S. conservatism say their jobs got a lot harder last year but that Trump's presidency also provides new opportunities for student engagement.

  • Originally published 01/04/2018

    What Is the Nuclear ‘Button’ and Where Did It Come From?

    Since John F. Kennedy, every president has had an officer that follows him around with the so-called “nuclear football,” a briefcase that can be used to launch a nuclear attack (it got its nickname from a nuclear war plan called “dropkick”).

  • Originally published 01/02/2018

    Donald Trump’s Watergate?

    William McGurn

    Robert Bork’s lessons from the Saturday Night Massacre take on new relevance.

  • Originally published 01/02/2018

    For Trump, a Year of Reinventing the Presidency

    In ways that were once unimaginable, President Trump has discarded the conventions and norms established by his predecessors. Will that change the institution permanently?

  • Originally published 12/28/2017

    Mr. Presidentiality

    John C. Waugh

    An analysis of his claim that he “can be more presidential than all past presidents except Lincoln.”

  • Originally published 12/21/2017

    Blowing Up the Deficit Is Part of the Plan

    Julian E. Zelizer

    Republicans are hoping to use the deficits created by their own tax cuts to slash the social safety net—but they may end up setting the stage for tax hikes instead.

  • Originally published 12/19/2017

    Trump Security Strategy a Study in Contrasts

    Max Boot

    The president’s first national security strategy eloquently sums up the U.S. role in the world and what should be done to defend it, but much of the document is at odds with what the president himself believes.

  • Originally published 12/18/2017

    Why the “Merchants of Death” Survive and Prosper

    Lawrence Wittner

    As long as people retain their faith in the supreme value of military might, we can probably expect defense contractors to continue profiting from war at the public’s expense.

  • Originally published 12/18/2017

    The G.O.P.’s Legislative Lemons

    Michael Tomasky

    Like the tax bill, nearly all GOP legislation of the past 27 years has been unpopular. Why do they pass it?

  • Originally published 12/15/2017

    Trump’s Lies vs. Obama’s

    In his first 10 months in office, Trump has told 103 separate untruths, many of them repeatedly. Obama told 18 over his entire eight-year tenure.

  • Originally published 12/15/2017

    Victor Davis Hanson says Trump Must "Retire as Twitter Champ”

    “Why should Trump still care what a minor journalist tweets about him to get much-needed attention? Why does the president need to keep pounding increasingly irrelevant former FBI Director James Comey, who has been reduced to tweeting anti-Trump slogans?”

  • Originally published 12/14/2017

    Apparent Relief for Grad Students

    Reports indicate congressional negotiators have dropped repeal of tax-exempt tuition waivers for graduate students and other provisions affecting higher ed from final tax-reform bill.

  • Originally published 12/12/2017

    Trump, Mueller And The Ancient History Of Grants Of Immunity

    As questions swirl over whether a sitting President can be indicted for a federal crime, the ancient and medieval history of providing political immunity to leaders, ambassadors, clerics and witnesses reveals a troubling past.

  • Originally published 12/11/2017

    Still Waiting

    Andrew J. Bacevich

    A Harvey Weinstein Moment for America’s Wars?

  • Originally published 12/11/2017

    Trump, Rejecting Calls to Stay Away, Speaks at Civil Rights Museum

    President Trump’s presence jolted the opening of a civil rights museum, generating boycotts from some leaders in the movement and small protests by activists as the state’s attempt to confront its racially violent past clashed with more recent divisions wrought by Mr. Trump’s presidency.

  • Originally published 12/08/2017

    It HAS Happened Here

    Van Gosse

    After Trump, it’s pretty obvious that the certainty “it could never happen here” was foolish in hindsight.

  • Originally published 12/07/2017

    Donald Trump’s Brains

    Jacob Heilbrunn

    Among the many anomalies of Donald Trump’s presidency has been the near invisibility of institutions that for many years served as a bulwark of Republican policymaking.

  • Originally published 12/05/2017

    Would Trump Consider a Court-Packing Scheme?

    Jeff Shesol

    McConnell’s strategy of shutting down the judicial-appointments process during Barack Obama’s last two years in office gave Trump, at the time of his Inauguration, a hundred and three vacancies to fill—more than twice as many as Obama had in 2009.

  • Originally published 12/05/2017

    A bold new legal defense for Trump: Presidents cannot obstruct justice

    Trump’s personal lawyer John Dowd sought to excuse the president’s tweet in part by telling Axios and NBC News on Monday that the “president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case.”

  • Originally published 12/04/2017

    Big Rocket Man

    Garry Wills

    Even a soldier in the field must disobey a truly disastrous order from a manifestly disabled officer. The commander in chief has to be held to the same standard as his subordinate commanders, for the preservation of the people.

  • Originally published 11/30/2017

    The Damage Trump Has Done

    Sean Wilentz

    He has conquered the party of Reagan and is fulfilling a dream of the hard right – the demolition of government.

  • Originally published 11/14/2017

    After Trump

    Frank Rich

    Liberals ecstatic over this month’s election must not forget: Even after this demagogue is finished, a new one will rise in his place.

  • Originally published 11/08/2017

    Grading President Trump

    Julian E. Zelizer

    While he gets high marks for using his executive power to enact policy changes, by most measures, he is not doing well.

  • Originally published 10/24/2017

    Trump Is the New ________

    Zachary Jonathan Jacobson

    Nixon? Reagan? Jackson? Historical analogies are simplistic, misleading—and absolutely essential.

  • Originally published 10/24/2017

    The Crack-Up

    John Feffer

    Donald Trump and the Fourth Great Shattering

  • Originally published 10/23/2017

    What’s inside the secret JFK assassination files?

    Secret government documents to be released this week likely contain new details about what the CIA knew about Lee Harvey Oswald before he murdered President John F. Kennedy, assassination experts say.

  • Originally published 10/20/2017

    George W. Bush & GOP lack standing to bash Trump for Racism

    Juan Cole

    Trump is merely the logical conclusion of the Southern strategy, and until the Republican Party comes to terms with its decades of latent racism and its rather loud dog whistle, it will create more and more Trumps.

  • Originally published 10/16/2017

    Fight over national monuments intensifies

    House Republicans are moving forward with a bill to reform a century-old conservation law, raising the stakes in their ongoing effort to curtail the president's’ ability to set aside wide swaths of federal land as national monuments and protect them from future development.

  • Originally published 10/16/2017

    Trump’s War on Knowledge

    Ariel Dorfman

    There has always been a disturbing strand of anti-intellectualism in American life, but never has an occupant of the White House exhibited such a toxic mix of ignorance and mendacity.

  • Originally published 10/13/2017

    U.S. Pulls Out of Unesco for the Second Time

    Unesco has become most well known for maintaining a list of more than 1,000 world heritage sites, locations worldwide that the agency deems worthy of protection.

  • Originally published 10/02/2017

    Flip-Flopping on Free Speech

    Jill Lepore

    The fight for the First Amendment, on campuses and football fields, from the sixties to today.

  • Originally published 09/29/2017

    Russia-gate’s Shaky Foundation

    Daniel Herman

    The Russia-gate hysteria now routinely includes rhetoric about the U.S. being at “war” with nuclear-armed Russia, but the shaky factual foundation continues to show more cracks.

  • Originally published 09/26/2017

    Borders are back and a new game looms

    Niall Ferguson

    European elites sneer compulsively at Trump, but polls show that majorities of their citizens would support a similar ban on Muslim immigration into the European Union.

  • Originally published 09/25/2017

    Before Trump vs. the NFL, there was Jackie Robinson vs. JFK

    Jackie Robinson, the hero who integrated Major League Baseball in 1947, spoke out loudly for civil rights and challenged President John F. Kennedy to stop dithering on black equality. Unlike Trump, JFK sought to understand Robinson’s complaints.

  • Originally published 09/25/2017

    Rocket Man Knows Better

    Blaine Harden

    The lesson of the Korean War is that for all its Orwellian blather, the Kim family dictatorship has survived this long by being coldly rational, even as it projects wild-eyed belligerence.

  • Originally published 09/25/2017

    Will Donald Trump Destroy the Presidency?

    Jack Goldsmith

    He disdains the rule of law. He’s trampling norms of presidential behavior. And he’s bringing vital institutions down with him.

  • Originally published 09/22/2017

    The Descent of Democracy

    Khalil Gibran Muhammad

    Trump is indeed a threat to democracy but it is important to recognize that the threats are not new.

  • Originally published 09/18/2017

    All-or-nothing politics belittles us all

    Jonathan Zimmerman

    Its hallmarks are the complete denigration of your foes and a refusal to give any ground even when confronted by facts that don’t fit your point of view.

  • Originally published 09/07/2017

    Senators Push Trump to Condemn White Supremacists, KKK

    By putting forward a joint resolution, which is sent to the president for signature, rather than a non-binding resolution, the senators are maneuvering to require Trump to choose between an explicit, one-sided condemnation of the white supremacist groups and risking a new round of recriminations if he vetoes it.

  • Originally published 09/07/2017

    Will Trump lower the nuclear bar?

    George F. Will

    Ten months after Nov. 8, that day’s costs, until now largely aesthetic, are suddenly, although not altogether unpredictably, more serious than were perhaps contemplated by his 62,984,825 voters.

  • Originally published 09/07/2017

    The First White President

    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    The foundation of Donald Trump’s presidency is the negation of Barack Obama’s legacy.

  • Originally published 09/07/2017

    The Nixon Question

    Garry Wills

    Those are the times when we seek out something—anything—with enough similarity to the new person or thing, to guess what we are dealing with. Nixon comes to mind when thinking about Trump.

  • Originally published 09/06/2017

    What Are Impeachable Offenses?

    Noah Feldman and Jacob Weisberg

    Whether or not it is “worse than Watergate,” the Trump-Russia scandal differs from it in ways that bear directly on how impeachment might serve as a remedy today.

  • Originally published 09/05/2017

    The Relevance of History

    Rick Shenkman

    History's never been more relevant.  That's something all of us need to acknowledge, even the president.

  • Originally published 08/21/2017

    Will Trump resign?

    Mike Purdy

    Many other presidents have thought about it.

  • Originally published 08/21/2017

    Trump's muddled view of American history

    Several historians who have studied the presidency extensively said they are concerned that Trump seems to view his lack of interest in reading as a badge of honor.

  • Originally published 08/18/2017

    What It Means to Censure a President

    Rick Shenkman

    We've censured presidents before. No one remembers this.   If you want to make history, impeach a president. Censures don’t seem to mean much.

  • Originally published 08/16/2017

    How the Nazi Flags in Charlottesville Look to a German

    Soon after the end of World War II, the Germans banned swastikas and other Nazi emblems, and the German people, not to mention the police, do not tend to react well when the symbols of that era are put on display.

  • Originally published 08/15/2017

    White Supremacy in the Age of Trump

    Keri Leigh Merritt

    Never forget that this country has a long history of upper-class whites using racism to their advantage.

  • Originally published 08/14/2017

    The Pentagon Has a Small Coup Problem

    Nick Turse

    The Department of Defense has trained more than a hundred foreign militaries that went on to stage coups in their home countries.

  • Originally published 08/14/2017

    If U.S. Attacks North Korea First, Is That Self-Defense?

    Mr. Trump’s supporters have said that a strike, should there be one, would be legally justified as an act of self-defense by the United States against a dangerous and irrational adversary. Others disagree.

  • Originally published 08/11/2017

    Forget Those Comparisons with the Cuban Missile Crisis

    Sheldon M. Stern

    This time, the top military figures in the administration may be forced to try to short-circuit an impulsive over-reaction by their commander-in-chief rather than the other way around.

  • Originally published 08/11/2017

    The Two Andrew Jacksons

    Michael Kazin

    Jacksonian democracy may have been liberating for some, but it was repressive for many others.

  • Originally published 08/10/2017

    Playing Nuclear “Chicken” With Our Lives

    Lawrence Wittner

    What kind of civilization have we developed when two mentally unstable national leaders threaten one another―and the world―with nuclear war?

  • Originally published 08/10/2017

    Kissinger Warns Trump

    ISIS Is Keeping Iran in Check, You Must Not Let Tehran Fill the Void

  • Originally published 08/09/2017

    Trump Falls Under the Shadow of Spiro Agnew

    In the age of Trump, the Agnew case, with its history of lies, greed, kickbacks, and the self-regard of its central actor, might seem the better predictor of what could come next.

  • Originally published 08/02/2017

    What McCarthyism Can Teach Us about Trumpism

    Landon R. Y. Storrs

    McCarthyism wound down thanks to the courage of independent journalists, the decision after four long years of McCarthy’s fellow Republican senators to put country above party, and U.S. Supreme Court decisions in cases brought by defendants and lawyers.

  • Originally published 07/31/2017

    Did Trump Really Mean What He Said?

    Pearl Duncan

    Here’s what he said: “Human trafficking is worse now that it has ever been in the history of the world.” Really?

  • Originally published 07/28/2017

    Donald Trump’s War on the 1960s

    Leonard Steinhorn

    It’s often said that Trump is fixated on undoing everything President Obama accomplished. But in truth it’s not the Obama legacy he’s undoing. It’s the 1960s.

  • Originally published 07/26/2017

    Half of Trump voters say Trump won popular vote

    A Politico/Morning Consult poll out early Wednesday found 49 percent of Trump voters think he won the popular vote, compared to just 40 percent who think Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won it.

  • Originally published 07/23/2017

    Revisiting H.L. Mencken in The Age of Trump

    Frank Fear

    “On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of this land will reach their heart’s content at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

  • Originally published 07/23/2017

    Why Trump and Mueller aren't Clinton and Starr

    Julian Zelizer

    This comparison misses something pretty fundamental. Starr was working under the independent counsel law that Congress passed in 1978. So Clinton couldn't fire him.

  • Originally published 07/21/2017

    Was the Founding Generation Right to Worry?

    Sarah Swedberg

    Americans’ current level of concern about the mental health of the man serving in the White House goes beyond what many of us have seen in our lifetimes, but, like all concerns, this one, too has a history.

  • Originally published 07/18/2017

    Trump’s Austerity Politics

    Kim Phillips-Fein

    How the president’s budget proposal grew out of New York’s financial crisis in the 1970s.

  • Originally published 07/17/2017

    The Demolition of U.S. Global Power

    Alfred W. McCoy

    There's an interesting parallel between Anthony Eden's disastrous tenure and Trump's.  Remember the Suez misadventure? 

  • Originally published 07/14/2017

    What would Lincoln think of Trump?

    Sidney Blumenthal

    In his first political speech Lincoln denounced he emergence of a man driven to power by a fierce desire for “celebrity and fame” who “thirsts and burns for distinction.” Remind you of anyone?

  • Originally published 07/14/2017

    Trump’s Russian Laundromat

    Craig Unger

    How to use Trump Tower and other luxury high-rises to clean dirty money, run an international crime syndicate, and propel a failed real estate developer into the White House.

  • Originally published 07/13/2017

    When We’re Betrayed We Call It Treason

    Brian F. Carso

    But for all its hyperbole and incendiary color, talk of treason is primarily a rhetorical shorthand that conjures deep-seated feelings of loyalty, national identity, and trust.

  • Originally published 07/05/2017

    History's worst designs?

    Sweden's Museum of Failure focuses on business failures like Trump’s monopoly-like board game.

  • Originally published 06/30/2017

    The Nixon tapes and Donald Trump

    Luke A. Nichter

    Since President Trump’s inauguration, and even before, there have been countless comparisons between the 37th and 45th presidents of the United States. Some of the comparisons make sense, while others do not.

  • Originally published 06/19/2017

    Can a divided America survive?

    Victor Davis Hanson

    Things are bad now. But our own history suggests that if we are not careful, they can get even worse.

  • Originally published 06/14/2017

    Trump's disapproval hits 60%

    Kevin M. Kruse

    Trump's rating is lower than any of these presidents:  FDR, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Obama. 

  • Originally published 05/29/2017

    What John F. Kennedy teaches us today

    Robert Dallek

    Donald Trump would do well to ponder the lessons of John Kennedy’s presidency on the occasion of JFK’s centenary.

  • Originally published 05/29/2017

    The World That Trump and Ailes Built

    Jill Lepore

    The measure of their influence lies in the distance between today’s media and politics and those of the years they were born.

  • Originally published 05/29/2017

    Can the President Be Indicted?

    The Constitution includes detailed instructions for impeachment. But there’s no clear answer on whether a president may be criminally prosecuted.

  • Originally published 05/26/2017

    Trump Angled for Soviet Posting In the 1980s

    “Donald Trump, in the mid-1980s, aggressively pursued an official government post to the USSR, according to a Nobel Peace Prize winner with whom Trump interacted at the time.”

  • Originally published 05/26/2017

    Trump Isn't Nixon – He's Worse

    John Aloysius Farrell

    Comparing President Trump to President Nixon is an unfair comparison. Nixon had accomplishments.

  • Originally published 05/25/2017

    7 differences between Trump turmoil and Watergate

    Jon Marshall

    While the Watergate scandal that forced Nixon to resign in 1974 resembles in some ways the current investigations into possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russia, the analogy isn't perfect.

  • Originally published 05/23/2017

    Thinking about impeachment? Slow down

    Michael J. Gerhardt

    The more deliberate the inquiry, the better chance that the American people will have confidence in it. For Nixon, the process that led to his resignation took more than two years, and the scope of wrongdoing that those investigations revealed was breathtaking.

  • Originally published 05/22/2017

    What Lincoln Thought of “America First”

    Sidney Blumenthal

    Though he never traveled outside the US, Lincoln embraced an international perspective, celebrating the spread of freedom in Europe. 

  • Originally published 05/22/2017

    Trump in Absolute Monarchy during Iran’s Election

    Juan Cole

    The day the Iranian public bucked the country’s Leader and the other hard liners and put centrist President Hassan Rouhani back in for a second term, the US president was feted with gold metals in an absolute monarchy.

  • Originally published 05/22/2017

    Five myths about Watergate

    Rick Perlstein

    It wasn’t politics as usual, and no, Deep Throat wasn’t pivotal to Nixon’s downfall.

  • Originally published 05/18/2017

    H.R. McMaster Takes a Dive

    Jack Shafer

    "The national security adviser’s fanboys are having a sad over his shilling for Baby Donald."

  • Originally published 05/15/2017

    Trump Embraces Nixon Comparison

    While other U.S. leaders have shied away from Nixon parallels given the politician’s fateful end, Mr Trump appears to have embraced the comparison, in some ways taking up Nixon’s mantle, the Nixon scholar Douglas Brinkley said.

  • Originally published 05/13/2017

    Which Middle East Authoritarian Leader is Trump most Like?

    Juan Cole

    Of course, Trump hasn’t yet done anything as egregious as al-Sisi or Erdogan. But he is clearly supporting them and perhaps learning from their tactics. But we can learn, too, for the purposes of the resistance.

  • Originally published 05/09/2017

    Why did Trump win?

    More whites — and fewer blacks — actually voted.

  • Originally published 05/08/2017

    How crossing the US-Mexico border became a crime

    Kelly Lytle Hernandez

    A new book by historian Kelly Lytle Hernandez reveals that for most of American history immigrants could enter the United States without official permission and not fear criminal prosecution by the federal government. That changed in 1929.

  • Originally published 05/04/2017

    Don’t Know Much About History

    Michael Winship

    Donald Trump thinks his intuition is better than knowledge of the past. That's dangerous for him and all the rest of us.

  • Originally published 05/04/2017

    Trump’s blind spot on black history worries scholars

    “If you don’t really know anything about the history of race relations, the history of Supreme Court decisions, the history of Jim Crow, the history of lynchings, the history of slavery, how are you going to even know how to respond when young black people are disturbed and outraged today.”

  • Originally published 05/01/2017

    How Tax Policy Created the 1%

    Julia Ott

    The Revenue Act of 1921 introduced a preferential or reduced tax rate on income from capital gains into the U.S. tax code, in a reversal of how policymakers had thought about different forms of income for several decades.

  • Originally published 05/01/2017

    When Congress Made Taxes Fairer

    Bill Bradley

    With President Trump now talking about overhauling the tax code, it’s worth reflecting on the last time Congress revamped the system: the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

  • Originally published 04/25/2017

    The 1980s: The Good Ol’ Days?

    Kevin Mattson

    Although analogies with the past are usually flawed, we can still look at the past in search for some hope against hope about the present.

  • Originally published 04/24/2017

    Do U.S. Strikes Send a ‘Message’ to Rivals? There’s No Evidence

    The notion that military action in one part of the world will deter adversaries in all others, long common in stump speeches and on cable news chatter, has at times profoundly influenced American foreign policy. There is only one problem: Repeated investigation has found that this notion is baseless.

  • Originally published 04/24/2017

    Now Trump’s Rashly Attacking Canada?

    William Lambers

    We are at peace with Canada thanks to a treaty that went into effect 200 years ago this month. Trump should be celebrating that.

  • Originally published 04/20/2017

    Trump parroted Chinese version of history

    Trump’s inartful retelling of Sino-Korean history sparked widespread outrage among Koreans, who are particularly sensitive to the U.S. president’s rhetoric amid heightened tensions between North and South Korea.

  • Originally published 04/19/2017

    Trump Is Right About One Thing

    Louis A. Ferleger and Jonathan R. Zatlin

    Some of our trading partners aren’t playing fair. Case in point: Germany.  

  • Originally published 04/17/2017

    Who Else Is Trump Like?

    Ronald L. Feinman

    Presidents John Tyler and Andrew Johnson, two previous presidents who faced impeachment.

  • Originally published 04/17/2017

    Trump Vs. Madison. Madison’s Winning.

    Donald J. Fraser

    The parchment barriers Madison and the other Founding Fathers installed in the Constitution are helping check Trump’s overreaching.

  • Originally published 04/17/2017

    All Means, Short of War

    Max Boot

    The U.S. should step up sanctions, including secondary sanctions on Chinese companies doing business with the criminal regime in Pyongyang, but there is no overwhelming imperative to go beyond that and risk war.

  • Originally published 04/17/2017

    All the Presidents' Taxes

    Kevin M. Kruse

    As you file your taxes this week—and as the president talks up tax reform—get riled up all over again about his refusal to release his returns with a brief history of this now-discarded presidential tradition.

  • Originally published 04/11/2017

    Make American Humanitarianism Great Again

    Bradley J. Brewer

    Accepting refugees from Syria will strengthen America – a lesson we learned after World War II when we welcomed German refugees from Europe.

  • Originally published 04/10/2017

    Professor's anti-Trump tweets stir controversy

    History professor Lars Maischak sent out two tweets in February. The first said: "To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better. #TheResistance #DeathToFascism".

  • Originally published 04/10/2017

    The Myth of Main Street

    Louis Hyman

    Don’t listen to President Trump. Going back to the good old days will cost us.

  • Originally published 04/05/2017

    Democratizing U.S. Foreign Policy

    Daniel Bessner and Stephen Wertheim

    In order to restore public trust, foreign policy experts must engage citizens in different, more democratic ways. Fortunately, American history offers guidance for bringing experts and the public back together.

  • Originally published 04/03/2017

    Where Evangelicals Came From

    Garry Wills

    Trump has a style that seems like no style to the “proper” viewer, the “politically correct.” But it's familiar to evangelicals.

  • Originally published 03/24/2017

    How new is “fake news”?

    James W. Cortada

    What history teaches us is that American politics seemed to generate more fake news than almost any other activity of the nation.

  • Originally published 03/21/2017

    Trump V. Kennedy

    Walter G. Moss

    Their different vision of the role of the arts and humanities.

  • Originally published 03/17/2017

    Trump's long disdain for the art world

    He drapes everything in gold. He orders his steaks well-done. He uses Scotch tape to hold his ties together. But as a prominent member of New York City's social elite (more or less) over the past 30-plus years, it's been impossible for him to avoid the art world.

  • Originally published 03/16/2017

    Michael Rogin's relevance in the Age of Trump

    Corey Robin

    Rogin’s work stands as a cautionary note to liberals and the left: When a McCarthy (or Trump) comes along, it's misguided to think normal political rules don't apply. They do despite the lure of far-flung analyses rooted in psychology (e.g.: authoritarianism).

  • Originally published 03/10/2017

    How Nixonian Is Donald Trump?

    Tim Naftali

    A little-known pre-Watergate Nixon scandal helps us understand the road the new president’s traveling.

  • Originally published 03/09/2017

    Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and the Misuse of American History

    Jelani Cobb

    The habitual tendency to excise the most tragic elements of history creates a void in our collective understanding of what has happened in the past and, therefore, our understanding of the potential for tragedy in the present.

  • Originally published 03/07/2017

    Why Trump EO is Still a Racist Muslim Ban

    Juan Cole

    The way you can tell that the list is generated by prejudice rather than security concerns is that there are plenty of states that are in worse shape than some of the 6 named but which are not Muslim-majority.

  • Originally published 03/07/2017

    Trump and the Battle Over Sanctuary in America

    To carry out mass deportations, thousands of new immigration and customs agents would be hired, and local police officers and sheriff’s deputies would be recruited. To do that, the president would need the cooperation of state, county and city officials. What if he does not get it?

  • Originally published 03/06/2017

    No More Saturday Marches

    Nelson Lichtenstein

    The brilliance of strikes and stoppages like the Day Without Immigrants and the Women’s Strike lies in organizers’ willingness to halt business as usual.

  • Originally published 03/03/2017

    American Suspicion of Russia Is Older Than You May Think

    Though the U.S. and the Soviet Union were allies in World War II and helped each other to victory, that cooperation was followed by decades during which the opposition between the two systems they represented dominated global politics.

  • Originally published 02/21/2017

    What Would Woody Do?

    Ron Briley

    The advice folksinger and political activist Woody Guthrie would be giving to us were he alive.

  • Originally published 02/21/2017

    Fake News and the Founding Fathers

    John Avlon

    This administration’s attacks on the press are directed at anyone who dares to disagree or try to hold them accountable. Nothing could be further from the example George Washington set.

  • Originally published 02/20/2017

    A White House Initiative to Defeat Radical Islam

    Daniel Pipes

    The overall goal of the White House Commission on Radical Islam should be to bring the American people together around a common understanding of the enemy's nature, how that enemy can be defeated, and specifics to accomplish this objective.

  • Originally published 02/17/2017

    The Populist Ploy

    Win McCormack

    Revisiting Irving Kristol, the conservative thinker who predicted Trump’s rise.

  • Originally published 02/17/2017

    Trump's America and the rise of the authoritarian personality

    Magnus Linden

    Since the horror of Hitler’s Holocaust, psychologists have investigated why certain individuals appear more prone to follow orders from authority figures, even if it means that they have to sacrifice humanitarian values while doing so.

  • Originally published 02/16/2017

    Is Trump a Populist?

    Finbarr Curtis

    How he compares with William Jennings Bryan, the Populist’s populist, in many contemporaries'' opinion.

  • Originally published 02/16/2017

    Carl Bernstein Smells a Cover Up

    Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein told CNN the Trump administration is trying to cover up its ties to Russia.

  • Originally published 02/15/2017

    Beware a Trump Reichstag Fire

    Robert S. McElvaine

    "Ever since the election, I have been concerned about and warning others of the possibility of Donald Trump using a terrorist attack in the United States the way Adolf Hitler used the burning of the Reichstag (parliament) building in Berlin in 1933 as a pretext to seize authoritarian power and destroy our Constitutional system."

  • Originally published 02/15/2017

    Have You Seen the Pictures of Trump Naked?

    Thomas A. Foster

    Trump may be different from all previous presidents, but artists are giving him the same treatment they’ve given other leaders disdained by large numbers of people.

  • Originally published 02/13/2017

    Partisan at the pulpit: The Johnson amendment

    Randall Balmer

    Donald Trump’s promise to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment, delivered at the National Prayer Breakfast last week, is a totally bad idea, one that compromises the First Amendment.

  • Originally published 02/08/2017

    Frederick Douglass, Refugee

    David Blight

    Throughout modern history, the millions forced to flee as refugees and beg for asylum have felt Douglass’s agony, and thought his thoughts.

  • Originally published 02/07/2017

    How to Tame Donald Trump

    John A. Farrell

    A lesson for the opposition, from Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Richard Nixon.

  • Originally published 02/06/2017

    When Tyrants Banned Religious Minorities

    Looking back over the course of the past 2,000 years, it is remarkable how many of these violent and discriminatory measures were about profit and patriotism.

  • Originally published 02/06/2017

    Teaching Southern and Black History Under Trump

    “I don’t know that Trump has historical awareness at all.” – Fitzhugh Brundage, the chair of the history department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Originally published 02/03/2017

    Teaching History in the Age of Trump

    Denver Brunsman and John Donoghue

    We have each, in different ways, found ourselves in the crosshairs of right-wing attacks in the past several weeks.

  • Originally published 02/02/2017

    The Jacksonian Revolt

    Walter Russell Mead

    Many Jacksonians came to believe that the American establishment was no longer reliably patriotic, with “patriotism” defined as an instinctive loyalty to the well-being and values of Jacksonian America.

  • Originally published 01/31/2017

    AHA Condemns Executive Order Restricting Entry to the United States

    "The order will have a significant and detrimental impact on thousands of innocent people, whether inhabitants of refugee camps across the world who have waited months or even years for interviews scheduled in the coming month (now canceled), travelers en route to the United States with valid visas or other documentation, or other categories of residents of the United States, including many of our students and colleagues."

  • Originally published 01/30/2017

    Huddled Masses–Keep Out!

    Bob Buzzanco

    Not since I had to remember and recite “The New Colossus” in elementary school have I seen so many references to Emma Lazarus’s poem on the Statue of Liberty as in the past week.

  • Originally published 01/30/2017

    A President's First 100 Days

    Historians compared the first 100 days of previous presidents and talked about priorities for the new Trump administration.

  • Originally published 01/27/2017

    2017 isn’t ‘1984’ – it’s stranger than Orwell imagined

    John Broich

    In Orwell’s Oceania, there is no freedom to speak facts except those that are official. In 2017 America, at least among many of the powerful minority who selected its president, the more official the fact, the more dubious.

  • Originally published 01/25/2017

    Remember John Tower

    Samuel J. Abrams

    Presidents don’t always get their way.

  • Originally published 01/23/2017

    Can Trump make real change as president?

    Sharece Thrower

    Despite his distinct individuality, Trump faces the same institutional constraints as any other president. In the end, he may be a more predictable president than many would believe.

  • Originally published 01/23/2017

    Lest We Forget

    Bill Moyers and four historians on the big lie behind the rise of Trump.

  • Originally published 01/20/2017

    Trump’s Washington Wedding

    Jill Lepore

    An American Inauguration is like a wedding: the President is the groom, the people his bride. Donald Trump is about to pledge his troth. It didn’t always work this way, and, really, it shouldn’t. Washington isn’t Vegas.

  • Originally published 01/19/2017

    Emotional Politics Won the 2016 Election

    Jeremy C. Young

    It’s easy for Democrats to criticize Trump as a demagogue or his voters as unreasoning dupes. In truth, however, American democracy has never operated primarily on the basis of reasoned debate.

  • Originally published 01/16/2017

    Trump’s Ohio win truly was historic

    In 22 counties — exactly a quarter of Ohio’s total — Trump rolled up the largest percentage of any Republican ever. Yes, that’s since 1856.

  • Originally published 01/13/2017

    What If a President Loses Control?

    Jeffrey Frank

    There’s no need to dwell on the particular character of Trump, but it is worth examining what remedies exist if any President is too careless, inattentive, or impulsive to deal sensibly with questions affecting the nation’s survival.

  • Originally published 01/11/2017

    Trump’s lawyer is totally wrong about Nelson Rockefeller

    It is simply not true that no one was so concerned about Rockefeller's potential financial conflicts of interest. On the contrary, in a September 1974 article, Linda Charlton reported for the New York Times: “Rockefeller Vows Full Cooperation.”

  • Originally published 01/09/2017

    When George Wallace Came to Town

    Joe Allen

    Donald Trump’s appeal to some suffering white workers shouldn’t surprise us. George Wallace did the same thing four decades ago.

  • Originally published 01/09/2017

    Martin Luther King Day With Trump

    Jelani Cobb

    The holiday will be presided over by a President who scarcely seems to comprehend King’s principles.

  • Originally published 01/05/2017

    From Willie Horton to Donald Trump

    Doug Rossinow

    Of all recent Republican standard-bearers, the one whose presidential campaign stands out as the most shockingly exploitative and hateful is the one who figures least of all in liberal narratives of Republican moral decline. That is the first President George Bush.

  • Originally published 01/05/2017

    No! The Electoral College Was Not about Slavery!

    Gary L. Gregg II

    The opponents of the Electoral College, in attempting to undermine support for the institution, have painted it with an unfair half-truth that distorts the historical record as well as the constitutional principles undergirding the system itself.

  • Originally published 01/02/2017

    Trump is more paranoid and dangerous than Nixon

    Rick Perlstein

    There are two key differences that set Trump apart from his predecessor in paranoia. First, his soul is sicker by miles than Nixon’s. And second, the surveillance apparatus he is about to inherit is far scarier than the one available to Nixon.

  • Originally published 01/02/2017

    Many in U.S. Skeptical Trump Can Handle Presidential Duties

    As Donald Trump prepares to take the presidential oath on Jan. 20, less than half of Americans are confident in his ability to handle an international crisis, to use military force wisely, or to prevent major scandals in his administration.

  • Originally published 12/29/2016

    How Trump's win becomes another 'Lost Cause'

    After President-elect Donald Trump's recent victory, some of his supporters celebrated by flying Confederate battle flags from pickup trucks and waving them at rallies. But Trump's victory may mark the resurgence of the Old South in another more sinister way: The return of "racial amnesia."

  • Originally published 12/28/2016

    Pink-Collar Pain and Our New President

    Katherine Turk

    American women should spotlight shared concerns and demand that Trump do much more for laborers than search for the blue collar jobs that were more likely automated than exported.

  • Originally published 12/26/2016

    More states consider circumventing the Electoral College

    In states including Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Mexico, legislators have said they plan to introduce legislation that would require their state’s Electoral College voters cast ballots for the presidential candidate who earns the most votes nationwide, regardless of the statewide results.

  • Originally published 12/20/2016

    The Danger of Making an Oil Man Secretary of State

    Chad H. Parker

    With a career pursuing goals independent of the very department he will head, history tells us that we should have little confidence that Rex Tillerson will serve the public.

  • Originally published 12/19/2016

    How Germany’s electoral college was set up to prevent another Hitler

    German post-war politicians were horrified by the possibility of another fascist populist gaining widespread support among the public. So they decided to make the election of the German president a decision of a Federal Assembly, which meets only for that purpose.

  • Originally published 12/13/2016

    An Intellectual History of Trumpism

    David Greenberg

    Trump’s ideology has deep roots in U.S. history. But this is the first time it’s made it to the White House.

  • Originally published 12/12/2016

    Can Cultural History Explain the Trump Phenomenon?

    David A. Horowitz

    The Second Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s arguably represents the combination of white cultural nationalism, traditional morality, and populist self-identity we are seeing today.

  • Originally published 12/09/2016

    Trump’s Got No Mandate

    Ronald L. Feinman

    He not only badly lost the popular vote, he did this in an election where there was no major third party candidate to blame for his receiving a low total. This is unprecedented.

  • Originally published 12/05/2016

    The Rush To Normalize Trump

    Rick Perlstein

    The mainstream media is woefully unprepared to grapple with the hatred and trauma of this election.

  • Originally published 12/05/2016

    Is Democracy Doomed? We've Been Here Before.

    Bill Scher

    The value of democracy was widely questioned in the mid-1930s, as the Great Depression was yet to be tamed during the early stages of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency.

  • Originally published 12/05/2016

    Sinclair Lewis Predicted Trump—And Us

    In his 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here, the Nobel prize winning author created a demagogue remarkably similar to Trump. He also nailed America’s love affair with demagogues.

  • Originally published 11/29/2016


    Andrew J. Bacevich

    Trump loves winning, but American generals have forgotten how.

  • Originally published 11/29/2016

    War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Trump Won In A Landslide.

    Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, has been touting her boss’s margin of victory in the Electoral College. But in a historical context, Trump’s Electoral College performance is decidedly below-average.

  • Originally published 11/28/2016

    After the Know-Nothings

    Johann N. Neem

    Like today, many political leaders in the 1850s were surprised by the Know-Nothings’ success.

  • Originally published 11/28/2016

    What is an emolument and why do we care?

    President-elect Donald J. Trump might have some unique decisions to make about how his business assets are managed as he serves in the White House, thanks to an obscure constitutional clause.

  • Originally published 11/28/2016

    FDR’s Bumpy Road to the Oval Office

    Kathryn Smith

    FDR’s journey was a roller coaster ride, including an assassination attempt, a P.R. disaster, the failure of thousands of banks and the untimely death of a key cabinet appointment.

  • Originally published 11/28/2016

    Historian finds German decree banishing Trump's grandfather

    Friedrich Trump, a German, was issued with the document in February 1905, and ordered to leave the kingdom of Bavaria within eight weeks as punishment for having failed to do mandatory military service and failing to give authorities notice of his departure to the US when he first emigrated in 1885.

  • Originally published 11/14/2016

    What Whiteness Means in the Trump Era

    Nell Irvin Painter

    Nell Irvin Painter is a professor emeritus of history at Princeton University and the author of “The History of White People.”

  • Originally published 11/14/2016

    Thanks Trump!

    Kevin Baker

    What he got right about American democracy.

  • Originally published 11/11/2016

    Don’t Blame Hillary Clinton

    Allan J. Lichtman

    The historian who predicted Trump’s victory says Democrats need to revamp their party by adopting Bernie Sanders’s approach (but not on trade).

  • Originally published 11/11/2016

    Use Electoral College as Founders Intended

    Robert S. McElvaine

    The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College for precisely the purpose of preventing someone like Donald Trump from becoming president.

  • Originally published 11/07/2016

    Donald Trump and the Death of American Exceptionalism

    Jelani Cobb

    The problem of Trump is not simply that his opinions far exceed his knowledge; it’s that what he does know is so hostile to democracy, not only in the Republican Party or the United States but in the world.

  • Originally published 11/07/2016

    Disciples of Distrust

    Garry Wills

    Even comparing Trump to American demagogues is unfair—unfair to the past demagogues.

  • Originally published 10/18/2016

    Rise of the Reactionary

    Sam Tanenhaus

    How a handful of Weimar émigrés came to have an outsized influence on the ideology of the American right.

  • Originally published 10/12/2016

    Why Trump’s tape could destroy the GOP

    Heather Cox Richardson

    The release of the tape may force regular Republican voters to face the reality that the movement conservatives’ demonization of minorities, organized workers, and women who demanded equality was never really about protecting hardworking American families. 

  • Originally published 10/12/2016

    Donald Trump, the Great Embarrassment

    Jill Lepore

    The history of American politics is littered with carnage, but little compares to what’s currently roiling the Republican Party.

  • Originally published 10/10/2016

    Know-Nothing Bigot Who Won Big

    Gil Troy

    He trashed immigrants, targeted one religious group, and brought political discourse to a new low.

  • Originally published 10/10/2016

    Does Trump’s Rise Mean Liberalism’s End?

    Yuval Noah Harari

    The story that has ruled our world in the past few decades is what we might call the Liberal Story. It was a simple and attractive tale, but it is now collapsing.

  • Originally published 09/29/2016

    Frontline does Trump & Clinton

    FRONTLINE goes behind the headlines to investigate what has shaped Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — where they came from, how they lead and why they want one of the most difficult jobs imaginable.

  • Originally published 09/26/2016

    The Man Who Went Full Trump for FDR

    Gil Troy

    He made up stories to smear the opposition and barely backpedaled when called out—Charlie Michelson perfected the nasty art of political mud-slinging.

  • Originally published 09/20/2016

    There’s No Debate

    Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

    The candidates and the media have thoroughly corrupted the presidential debates. Our democracy deserves better. There's still time for a change.

  • Originally published 09/19/2016

    Are we in for an October Surprise?

    Julian Zelizer

    On the rare occasions when October Surprises have happened, they have not really impacted the outcome of the election.

  • Originally published 09/19/2016

    The Impact of Debates? It's Debatable

    A review of data since 1960 suggests that past debates have almost never directly and measurably changed the candidates' relative standings.

  • Originally published 09/16/2016

    When Donald Meets Hillary

    James Fallows

    Who will win the debates? Trump’s approach was an important part of his strength in the primaries. But will it work when he faces Clinton onstage?

  • Originally published 09/13/2016

    The Great, Sad, Impractical, Wall of Trump

    Fred Zilian

    History shows great resources have to be spent on the building and maintenance of walls and even then human beings find ways around them.

  • Originally published 09/07/2016

    Trump Touts Pledge of Allegiance with Socialist Roots

    Peter Dreier

    Donald Trump’s vision of America clashes sharply with the original intent behind the Pledge of Allegiance, penned during the Gilded Age to promote equity, tolerance, and progressive ideals.

  • Originally published 09/06/2016

    What The Donald Shares With The Ronald

    Frank Rich

    They may be stylistically different, but Trump and Reagan marketed the same brand of outrage to the same angry segments of the electorate.

  • Originally published 09/06/2016

    Donald Trump’s history at church

    For all that has been written about Mr. Trump, relatively little attention has been paid to the time he spent at Marble Collegiate Church and his relationship with the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale.

  • Originally published 09/05/2016

    Trumpism is a new phenomenon

    George H. Nash

    Trumpist populism is defiantly challenging the fundamental tenets and perspectives of every component of the post–1945 conservative coalition.

  • Originally published 08/30/2016

    Are Trump and Putin in Cahoots?

    Bruce W. Dearstyne

    This lesson from history suggests the charge came early enough for Trump to defuse it, but he might not be so lucky if another bombshell comes late in the race.

  • Originally published 08/28/2016

    Living in LBJ’s America

    Kevin Baker

    How two of his least celebrated accomplishments shaped the battle between Clinton and Trump.

  • Originally published 08/27/2016

    CIA reveals its secret briefings to Presidents Nixon and Ford

    Tim Naftali

    For years the CIA shielded from public view every single one of the briefings that it produces daily for the president's eyes only, arguing that even letting go one 50-year old briefing could harm national security.

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