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political history



  • David Graeber and David Wengrow Have Given Human History a Rewrite

    by William Deresiewicz

    A new effort at a synthesis of the sweep of human history upends what recent popularizers have presented as a progressive path from hunter-gatherer society to corporate capitalism by emphasizing choice, contingency, and the possibility of doing things differently.



  • Gaming Elections is a Conservative Political Tradition

    by John S. Huntington

    "Conservatives have spent generations attempting to exploit arcane and anti-democratic electoral structures to carve a pathway for minoritarian rule."



  • The US is Politically Bankrupt

    by Rebecca L. Spang

    By provoking crisis over the debt ceiling, Republicans are failing to heed lessons from pre-revolutionary France. 



  • Dems' Unity Problems Nothing New

    "Throughout its history, the party has featured dissent and even radical differences of viewpoint. It has been defined by these internal contrasts and conflicts as often as by its achievements."


  • The Roots of the Politicization of the National Parks Service

    by Nick DeLuca

    The National Park Service has never been totally independent of politics. But a 1996 law requiring Senate approval of the NPS Director, combined with the Trump administration's use of acting directors, has created uncertainty. Approving Biden's nominee Chuck Sams is a key step to putting the National Parks on solid footing. 



  • There’s a Very Good Reason ‘Washington Slept Here’

    by Nathaniel Philbrick

    "Today the phrase 'Washington slept here' is a historical joke, but during the two years of intermittent travel at the beginning of his presidency, all those nights spent in taverns and homes across the country were essential to establishing an enduring Union."



  • Too Often, Politicians Pick Their Voters

    by Warren E. Milteer Jr.

    Political factions and then organized parties have fought over the size, composition and geographical ordering of the electorate since the founding. This legacy today undermines the legitimacy of government and the political will to protect the right to vote. 



  • Bouie: The Founders Lived in a Foreign World

    Times columnist Jamelle Bouie draws on the work of historians Matt Glassman, Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, and Susan Dunn to argue that the Founders did not, in fact, get it right the first time – even for the society they lived in, let alone for ours.



  • What Did the Continental Congresses Do?

    From the runup to the Revolution to the adoption of the Constitution, three Continental Congresses were the de facto national government. Here's what they did. 



  • Review: Geraldo Cadava's "The Hispanic Republican"

    by Jerry González

    Historian Jerry González says that "The Hispanic Republican is a wake-up call for progressives, particularly white liberals, who uncritically believe that rising Latinx population numbers will naturally shift the political winds."