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Historians/History


  • Paying People to Get Vaccines is an Old Idea Whose Time has Come Again

    by Margaret DeLacy

    John Haygarth devised a system for rewarding working-class residents of Chester for receiving the risky smallpox inoculation and maintaining social distance afterward. The effort was largely superseded by the more effective and safer Jenner vaccination, but was a foundational public health experiment that pays dividends today.


  • America's First Peaceful (Just Barely!) Transfer of Power

    by Akhil Reed Amar

    While the selection of Thomas Jefferson as the third president in 1801 (after an electoral college deadlock) is touted as a crucial peaceful transfer of presidential power from one party to another, the transition was far more fraught with peril than most realize. 


  • Preserving the Stories of the Second World War

    by Colin Heaton

    Colin Heaton's latest book of oral history (with Anne-Marie Lewis) is based on oral histories he conducted with five significant Allied Airmen from World War II. Here, he discusses his work collecting veterans' stories from all sides of the airborne war and why those stories matter. 


  • Reverberations of the Photography of Jazz

    by Jeffrey Mifflin

    The photographs of William Gottlieb and other observers of jazz's golden age deserve more attention for capturing and creating the aesthetics of the music. 


  • Climate, Catastrophe, and Faith

    by Philip Jenkins

    Temporary climate catastrophes have been an understudied contributor to changes in religious doctrine and practice throughout history. These episodes may preview spiritual and communal upheavals as climate change progresses.


  • Who Won the American Revolution?

    by Guy Chet

    Almost since the smoke cleared after the Battle of Lexington, Americans have debated the relative merits of the militias and the Continental Army in fighting the British. The relative esteem of each group has followed changes in the politics of the nation.