• Martha Hodes Talks "My Hijacking" with HNN

    by Michan Connor

    In 1970, when she was 12, Martha Hodes was held hostage for nearly a week in a campaign of airline hijacking that captured world attention. She discusses trauma and erasure in the historical record, the roles of remembering and forgetting in shaping views of the past, and how she investigated herself as a historial actor. 

  • "Hamilton" as a Meditation on History and Memory

    by Bennett Parten

    In a moment in which Confederate monuments are finally coming down and we are re-thinking how we tell our history, Hamilton is a sign of hope. It’s a sign that while history is something we can never resign from, we can always enter the narrative and, like Eliza, construct a history of our own. 

  • The politics of public memory, from Watergate to Iraq

    by Nick Enfield

    Michael Schudson’s book, Watergate in American Memory, is a masterly study of how versions of events can become facts. The Watergate case study shows brilliantly that while facts are important, so are our interpretations and portrayals of those facts.

  • How Memory Speaks

    by Jerome Groopman

    The role of memory in virtually every activity of our day is put in sharp focus when it is lost.

  • How Memory Works: Interview with Psychologist Daniel L. Schacter

    by Robin Lindley

    Image via Shutterstock.Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today’s events.--Albert EinsteinMemory is the stuff of history. Historians rely on the memories of individuals as they seek and discover the facts and stories from which we create our public memory. Thus, knowledge from a scientific perspective of how human memory works can be instructive to historians.

  • Tracy Thompson: The South Still Lies About the Civil War

    Tracy Thompson is the author of "The New Mind of the South." This excerpt comes from a longer excerpt of her book posted at Salon.In the course of our conversation, Yacine Kout mentioned something else—an incident that had happened the previous spring at Eastern Randolph High School just outside Asheboro. On Cinco de Mayo, the annual celebration of Mexico’s defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, a lot of Hispanic students brought Mexican flags to school. The next day, Kout said, white students brought Confederate flags to school as a message: This is our heritage.

  • Ex-Dictator Is Ordered to Trial in Guatemalan War Crimes Case

    MEXICO CITY — A Guatemalan judge on Monday ordered Efraín Rios Montt, the former dictator, and his intelligence chief to stand trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in connection with the massacres of villagers in remote highlands three decades ago.The ruling clears the way for a public trial for Mr. Rios Montt, a former general who ruled Guatemala for 17 months in 1982 and 1983 during the bloodiest period of the country’s long-running civil war. It is a stunning decision for Guatemala, where the military still wields significant power behind the scenes and the country’s elected governments have struggled to build democratic institutions....