With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What's HNN's privacy policy?
  • Which way does HNN tilt, left or right?
  • How is HNN organized?
  • How do I apply for an internship at HNN?
  • Do you accept advertising?
  • What kind of news stories do you cover?
  • Is HNN considered a scholarly journal?
  • Why should the public want to hear from historians?
  • Can I reprint articles posted on HNN?
  • What Is the purpose of the Roundup Department?
  • How do I submit an article to HNN for publication?
  • Does HNN feature RSS Feeds? (What is RSS?)

    HNN takes the privacy of our readers seriously. The only information we collect from our users is the email address they use to subscribe to our newsletters. We do not collect information about the choices individual users make on the site. We do not leave cookies on their computers to track their online behavior.


    George Mason University's History News Network (HNN) features articles and excerpts by historians from both the left and the right. Some weeks we may appear to tilt one way or the other simply because of serendipity. But our aim is to present a wide mix of views. Click here to read our mission statement.


    HNN is organized into a variety of departments, which can easily be accessed on every page from the menu located on the left-hand columns.

    Half a dozen interns and readers of HNN are responsible for the fascinating list of stories featured every day on the Breaking News page, which allows readers to keep track of both important and interesting developments related to history.

    Our homepage features the original articles published weekly by HNN contributors. They are divided into categories so readers can easily follow particular subjects of concern. Major categories include: News at Home, News Abroad, Historians & History, Education, and Culture Watch.

    Our most popular department -- and our biggest -- is Roundup, which is divided into a number of subdepartments and includes excerpts from articles from around the Web. In our Friday newsletter we list the Top 10 excerpts, but these comprise just a brief sampling of the extensive collection of excerpts we post every week.

    The Features department lists services we provide: lists of interviews with historians, great history quotes, highlights from the AHA & OAH conventions, and the like. The Books department displays reviews by HNN's book editors as well as excerpts from reviews of books that relate history and current events. (Every month HNN features a Book of the Month.)

    HNN features two departments that address the specific needs of students and teachers (grade school and high school). 

    Please keep in mind that we feature a broad range of ideological views.

    If you ever have any questions about HNN, please feel free to contact editors Rick Shenkman and David Walsh. We welcome suggestions!


    When a new employee asked Thomas Edison what the rules at his lab were, Edison reportedly cracked, We don't have rules. We're trying to accomplish something. Great line, but in practice rules sometimes are needed. These are the rules HNN has implemented to govern the posting of comments on our threaded discussion boards.

    Please do not post any comments that are defamatory, obscene, pornographic, abusive, bigoted, or unlawful. If you violate the law or are guilty of defamation you may be held legally responsible.

    Please do not post any comments that are anti-Semitic or racist. Please do not malign ethnic or religious groups.

    Please do not post any advertisements for commercial products or services.

    Please do not use our boards to promote surveys, contests, or chain letters.

    Please be civil. No ad hominem attacks.

    Please do not post comments that are irrelevant to the subject under discussion.

    We reserve the right to bounce any person who violates our rules and to delete their comments.

    Flagrant violators of HNN's standards will be banned. Offensive comments will be deleted.

    NOTE: Posts to HNN's blogs may be deleted if the bloggers find the posts irritating, offensive, or distracting, whether the posts violate HNN's rules of civility or not.

    Disclaimer: We do not attest to the accuracy or truthfulness of any of the views or facts posted on our discussion boards. Nor do we monitor every posted comment.


    Yes, we welcome advertisers! We also accept help from underwriters (just as PBS does). If you would like either to advertise or make an underwriter's donation to HNN, please let us know by dropping an email to the editor.

    HNN will gladly post a notice on our site or in our newsletter indicating your participation in our underwriting program.


    The Breaking News page features news stories reported in the English-language press. The result is that the page is heavily skewed toward subjects that draw the attention of English-speaking readers, leading to a heavy concentration of stories from the United States and Western Europe. Click here to view the lists of media sources HNN interns use to track news stories we cover.


    Here are the basic facts: Internships are for a minimum term of two quarters. You should expect to put in around 10 hours a week. INTERNS DO NOT HAVE TO WORK AT HNN'S OFFICES, though interns located in the Washington D.C. area are encouraged to work directly with the editor at our Washington office. Interns will communicate with the editor(s) through e-mail, Skype, and the telephone. Basically, if you have access to the Internet, you can be an intern at HNN!

    All internships are unpaid, but class credit can be arranged.

    Click here to read about intern responsibilities.

    As you'll see, this is not a make-work job. You'll do real work; nothing Mickey Mouse.

    If you are interested in applying for an internship please send your resume to the editor, David Walsh. BE SURE TO INCLUDE THE INTERNSHIP YOU wish to apply for.


    HNN was created to give historians the opportunity to reach a national audience on issues of public concern. It is not a scholarly journal. It is a vehicle for scholars seeking to enrich the public debate.


    Historians are not entitled to be heard from simply because they are scholars. They must have something to say. But neither can the fact that they are scholars deprive them of the right to weigh in on matters of vital public importance. Indeed, the fact that they bring to the public debate a special expertise and sensibility derived from their studies is all the more reason to give them a hearing. Leaving the public square to people who lack the scholar's knowledge diminishes democracy.

    Responding to news events in a timely and wise manner is a great challenge, of course. Fortunately, none of our contributors fail at the task all of the time and most succeed at it at least some of the time. That they may fail on occasion is no reason to conclude they should therefore never be given the chance to succeed ever again.


    HNN publishes original pieces on our homepage. Because HNN encourages the wide dissemination of information, all of our content is licensed under Creative Commons 3.0. Readers are free to copy, distribute, transmit, and adapt HNN content provided that HNN is clearly identified as the source.

    HNN also excerpts articles in the Roundup Department that were published elsewhere. We do not own the copyright of these articles. Please contact the listed SOURCE of the article to find out if it can be reprinted.


    HNN originally was conceived as primarily a national platform for historians wishing to comment on current events. This remains our primary function as is evident on our homepage, where week after week historians write about news subjects within their area of expertise.

    But as the website evolved we added various features that we thought our readers would find interesting and useful. The most popular feature has turned out to be ROUNDUP, which includes excerpts and articles from the media about various issues related in some way to history.

    We don't vouch for the accuracy or scholarship of the excerpts or articles. We simply reprint them. The purpose is to give readers in one handy place a broad sampling of American (and indeed world) opinion. In effect, we turn every reader into his own Walt Whitman, strolling through the alleys of the Internet to see what strange and wonderful and often ugly things the world has to offer. Everyman his own journalist, to paraphrase Carl Becker.

    But even the ugly?

    Walter Lippman in the 1920s pointed out that journalism is about creating pictures in our minds of what the real world is like, a most difficult task. How much more difficult, indeed impossible, it is to attain that goal if we blind ourselves to sights that make us shudder or shrink in horror.

    At the same time we do not publish the views of Holocaust Deniers in Roundup--or authors who take similarly extreme positions. Including them in Roundup would indirectly give them a credence they do not deserve. We do of course from time to time run articles, excerpts and news stories about people who hold obnoxious views like Holocaust Deniers.


    HNN reaches a large number of readers. The website attracts some 300,000 unique visitors a month and 6 million hits. Writing for HNN can help you find an audience for your ideas and publications.

    HNN encourages readers to send in articles for possible publication concerning subjects in their area of expertise. Because we need to be able to assure our readers that writers are experts in the areas they discuss, we request that all submissions be accompanied by a resume.

    Articles should either tell the reader something new or frame an old issue in a new way. Articles may include the author's opinion but primarily serve as vehicles for informed analysis with an emphasis on history.

    HNN encourages the wide dissemination of information and therefore allows other publications to reprint our articles unless the author expressly requests copyright protection.

    Writers should know that HNN allows search engines such as Google and Yahoo to use spiders to search the archives and post search results.

    The editor reserves the right to select the title of any piece published by HNN.

    Once a piece has been published the author relinquishes the right to withdraw it.

    Please be sure to tell us how you would like to be identified.

    If your article draws on research you have published in a book we'll happily feature the book's jacket and a link to the website of your choice.

    If possible, articles should be forwarded by email as a Microsoft WORD attachment. If this is impossible, please simply paste the article into an email. Submissions should be sent to David Austin Walsh at the following address: editor@historynewsnetwork.org.

    Article length may vary depending on subject matter. Most articles run about 1,000 words.

    Authors should disclose in advance to the editor any potential conflict of interest they have which may affect their objectivity--or may appear to do so.


    In an attempt to make our content more easily accessible, HNN is now providing RSS feeds for most departments. Huh?

    RSS feeds allow users with an RSS reader to keep track of websites every time specific pages are updated. Say, for instance, you like HNN blog Cliopatria and you want to know when it's updated. By using an RSS reader you will be notified the moment a new entry is posted on the blog. The system even allows you to find out every time one of the Roundup pages has been updated with new material or when our homepage is updated. With an RSS reader you can see which of your favorite sites have been updated at-a-glance without having to go through the trouble of surfing each site one by one.

    Sounds complicated. It's not. Just download one of the RSS readers listed below. Then add a channel for each web page you want to follow closely. The RSS feeds are located in the left-hand column, at the bottom of everything else in the column. (Look for the bright blue button that says RSS.) The RSS Feeds for the Breaking News page are located at the top.

    Click on the button. This will bring up a page with a lot of html gibberish. Ignore it. All you need to pay attention to is the URL. The RSS reader will ask you for this URL when you go to add a channel.

    RSS Readers




    Once you have installed an RSS reader, add a new channel and use this link: http://hnn.us/rss.xml

    If you would like to find other sites that syndicate their content through RSS check out: http://www.syndic8.com.