What I love about Jill Lepore’s These Truths? Her argument that nations are built on both ideals and ugly contradictions – and that historians have an obligation to both: read it here. Read other commentaries by David Hollinger and Malinda Maynor Lowery: tomorrow, Lepore responds.
Public Seminar had the privilege of printing an excerpt of historian Kim Phillips-Fein’s recent book, Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and The Rise of Austerity Politics. Originally published in 2017 by Metropolitan Books, it is now available in paperback from Picador. The book tells a complex story of an iconic moment in the so-called “urban crisis” of the 1970s, in … More When New York City Almost Failed
When did coalitional organizing between feminists and conservative women become impossible? I’m not sure, but as a feminist there is one place and time that I remember vividly: Indianapolis in the spring of 1984. There, led by Mayor William Hudnut, III Republican politician Beulah Coughenour and local movement conservatives, that city became one of the … More Why Can’t Women Bridge the Left-Right Divide?
My liberal and left-wing friends continue to puzzle over a single, unanswerable question: why do white, working class people vote “against their interests”?Perhaps the reason that this is an unanswerable question is that it is the wrong question. I would like to suggest that they don’t vote against their own interests– or at least, that when voters … More Elections Turn On Policy, Not Public Relations
This post was originally published at Public Seminar on February 7, 2018 When people ask me what I am teaching this semester, I bury the lede. I first describe my exciting, five-section strong introduction to Internet studies. Then there is the big reveal: “I am also teaching a core course in our history graduate program,” … More Why We Return to Certain Books Like Clockwork
Several years ago, I inaugurated this class in recent United States political history under the title “The Age of Reagan.” Like many historians, I presumed that the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 had been the culmination of a fundamental reorientation of American conservatism. I also presumed that it would have as lasting an impact … More From Goldwater to Trump, A Syllabus
With all the cheerful talk last week about a nuclear confrontation with North Korea, a number of people in my social media feeds have been obsessing about how much our collective civil defense skills have eroded since the 1960s. However, a quick trip to the National Archives digital collections has reassured me that we have nothing … More How to Survive a Nuclear Attack
We are all still breathless from last week’s near-repeal of Obamacare. As two Republican Senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, stood between the American public and a bill that would cut Medicare, defund Planned Parenthood, and throw the insurance industry into turmoil, keeping the consequences of the different bills straight became … More When Women Fight for Health Care: Public Seminar, July 31, 2017