popular history

  • The Rediscovery of David McCullough

    by Lindsay M. Chervinsky

    A presidential historian now at work on her own book on John Adams reflects on how McCullough's blockbuster inspired her own career, and his hits and misses as a chronicler of overlooked or forgotten people and events in American history. 

  • Dirtbag Historicism

    by Leland Renato Grigioli

    While historians have long been embattled to demonstrate that their discipline contributes to some external standard of usefulness, the profession now must also content with the political abuse of history through narratives of identity-based nostalgia. 

  • The Popular Medieval History Hated by Medievalists

    by Daniel Lavery

    "It’s the most prominent example of a type of book that fascinates me: The amateur/popular history of an entire field that’s largely beloved (or at least successful) outside of said field and widely loathed within it."

  • What "Big History" Misses

    by Ian Hesketh

    "Big History" has become established in the popular media and in some academic quarters, telling global-scale narratives of human and even planetary history. After 30 years, it's time to evaluate its successes and failures. 

  • On Popular History: Rebecca Traister

    by Alexis Coe

    Historian Alexis Coe interviews writer and essayist Rebecca Traister on the historical research informing her work and the links between popular and academic audiences for historical knowledge. 

  • Can America’s Problems Be Fixed By a President Who Loves Jon Meacham?

    The popular historian and biographer Jon Meacham has been a major influence on Joe Biden's political outlook, and potentially on his policy agenda. Does a view of history informed by conflicts of virtue and values offer a path to fixing corrupted or hollowed-out institutions? Are academic historians jealous? 

  • How We Lie to Ourselves About History

    At its best, the "You're Wrong About" podcast transcends fact-checking and debunking to ask why so many of the stories we know are wrong, and why they persist nevertheless.