Barnum: An American Life
by Robert Wilson,
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 18, 2019
“There are some things in my Autobiography which may honestly be objected to,” Phineas T. Barnum declared in 1855. But he asked readers — and critics who decried the book... > more
The Assault on American Excellence
by Anthony Kronman,
Psychology Today, August 15, 2019
In The Assault on American Excellence, Anthony Kronman, the former dean of Yale Law School and author of Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up On... > more
Lincoln's Spies: Their Secret War to Save a Nation
by Douglas Waller,
The Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 11, 2019
Shortly after the Civil War began, Allan Pinkerton offered President Abraham Lincoln his services and those of his 18 employees to spy on Confederate traitors, hand-deliver sensitive White House communications... > more
Beethoven: The Relentless Revolutionary
by John Clubbe,
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 28, 2019
On March 26, 1827, a storm dropped snow and hail on Vienna. Ludwig van Beethoven roused himself, shook his fist at the heavens, muttered “Applause, friends! The comedy is over,” and... > more
The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison's Ten-Year Road Trip
by Jeff Guinn,
The Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 28, 2019
By 1920, a joke about “The Vagabonds” appeared frequently in print and on the vaudeville circuit. A car breaks down in a field, in front of a farmer. Four men... > more
The World's Fastest Man: The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor, America's First Black Sports Hero
by Michael Kranish,
The Florida Courier, July 19, 2019
In the 1890s, millions of Americans became “bicycle crazy.” While horses plodded through city streets, towing a buggy at a gait of around four miles an hour, cyclists could go... > more
"Lindsey Graham's Faustian Bargain"
The Hill, July 18, 2019
If: The Untold Story of Kipling's American Years
by Christopher Benfey,
The Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 7, 2019
A close friend, Christopher Benfey reveals, warned him not to write a book about Rudyard Kipling. “Don’t you realize,” he said, that the author of “The White Man’s Burden” is... > more
Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World
by Clive Thompson,
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 25, 2019
Programming is a “pretty cool experience,” Ryan Olson, a lead engineer for Instagram said after observing someone using his product at a climbing gym.... > more
The Accident of Color: A Story of Race in Reconstruction
by Daniel Brook,
The Florida Courier, June 21, 2019
After he was refused a drink in a posh coffeehouse and bar in January 1871, New Orleans Parish Sheriff Charles St. Albin Sauvinet filed a suit “for the purpose of... > more
"How To Make College Accessible To Students From Rural Communities"
(co-authored with Jim Schechter)
The Hill, June 19, 2019
Why Tariff Threat Is Unsettling—Even After US-Mexico Deal
The Christian Science Monitor, June 10, 2019
Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth
by Jodi Magness,
The Jerusalem Post, June 7, 2019
In 73 CE, at a mountain-top fortress in Masada, Flavius Josephus claimed two years later, 967 men, women, and children killed each other and themselves. The last holdouts in... > more
Conscience: The Origins of Moral Intuition
by Patricia S. Churchland,
Psychology Today, June 4, 2019
In deriving foundational principles of morality, Immanuel Kant declared, “the ground of obligation must be looked for, not in the nature of man nor in the circumstances in the world... > more
The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation
by Brenda Wineapple,
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 26, 2019
Once upon a time, a president of the United States branded his political opponents traitors, pardoned his friends, ignored the will of Congress, inflamed racial tensions, and coarsened political discourse. His opponents... > more
Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide
by Tony Horwitz,
The Florida Courier, May 24, 2019
In 1852, the New York Times sent Frederick Law Olmsted, not yet the iconic architect of city parks, to explore the slave South. Identified in the paper as “Yeoman,” Olmsted,... > more
The Heartland: An American History
by Kristin L. Hoganson,
The Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 17, 2019
The Midwest, according to conventional wisdom, is the quintessential American region. Insulated and isolated, stable and inward-looking, it exemplifies our nation's essence - and exceptionalism - through its people, principles... > more
The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students
by Anthony Abraham Jack,
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 12, 2019
Twenty years after a few dozen elite colleges and universities provided no-loan financial aid packages to students from low-income families, the children of middle- and upper-class parents remain overrepresented in the undergraduate... > more
"The Democrats Need A Long Game"
(co-authored with Sidney Tarrow)
The Hill, May 10, 2019
A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father
by David Maraniss,
Psychology Today, May 9, 2019
In 1952, the House Un-American Activities Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives summoned Elliott Maraniss to Room 740 of the Federal Building in Detroit. Asked about his membership... > more
The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West
by David McCullough,
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 5, 2019
Although he had not yet seen the Ohio territory, the Rev. Manasseh Cutler declared that in addition to unsurpassed natural resources and natural beauty, the region had a unique advantage:... > more
Exposing Slavery: Photography, Human Bondage, and the Birth of Modern Visual Politics in America
by Matthew Fox-Amato,
The Florida Courier, May 1, 2019
Developed in 1839, Louis Daguerre’s photographic process, which produced images on silver-coated copper plates, became a staple of consumer culture in the 1840s and ‘50s.... > more
Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11
by Mitchell Zuckoff,
The Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 28, 2019
Excluding the terrorists, 2,977 men, women and children died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 11, 2001. Another 6,000 sustained physical injuries; thousands more... > more
"Ivy Leaguers With Guns, Then and Now"
The Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2019
The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality
by Nancy Isenberg and Andrew Burstein,
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 14, 2019
n 1795, John Adams encouraged his eldest son to develop “the Spirit of a Stoick — a determined Spirit to bear any neglect, any Affront from your Countrymen without resentment.”... > more
Blood in the Water: How the US and Israel Conspired to Ambush the USS Liberty
by Joan Mellen,
The Jerusalem Post, April 12, 2019
On June 8, 1967, during the Six Day War, unmarked jet planes and torpedo boats attacked the USS Liberty, a surveillance ship in international waters off the coast of Egypt.... > more
The Power of Cute
by Simon May,
Psychology Today, April 9, 2019
These days, cute people, animals, and things are ubiquitous. Think Mickey Mouse, the Pokémon monster, E.T., Cabbage Patch Kids, Panda cubs, Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog, and emojis.... > more
Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow
by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.,
The Florida Courier, April 3, 2019
At the end of the Civil War, Sidney George Fisher, a White gentleman from Philadelphia, declared, “It seems our fate never to get rid of the Negro question.” Although... > more
"Resurrecting Deliberative Bodies"
The Hill, April 1, 2019
The Lion's Den: Zionism and the Left from Hannah Arendt to Noam Chomsky
by Susie Linfield,
The Forward, March 31, 2019
In 1981, in an essay titled “Revolutionary Realism and the Struggle for Palestine,” Fred Halliday, a member of the editorial board of the New Left Review, broke with his comrades.... > more
Who Wants to Be a Jewish Writer? And Other Essays
by Adam Kirsch,
The Jerusalem Post, March 29, 2019
Adam Kirsch, born in 1976 in Los Angeles, the son of a lawyer and biblical scholar, is a prolific poet and literary critic. Kirsch’s reviews and feature articles have appeared... > more
Irrationality: A History of the Dark Side of Reason
by Justin E. Smith,
Psychology Today, March 26, 2019
Centuries ago, the philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz declared that human beings could – and should – make the right inferences from known facts, act accordingly, and thereby end all conflicts,... > more
The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump
by Andrew McCabe,
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 24, 2019
There is no love lost between Donald Trump and Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director (and, briefly, acting director) of the FBI.... > more
Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do
by Jennifer L. Eberhardt,
Psychology Today, March 19, 2019
Studies indicate that a black driver in an urban area is twice as likely as a white driver to be stopped by a police officer for a vehicle equipment violation.... > more
"Brexit And Exit: A Transatlantic Comparison"
(co-authored with Sidney Tarrow)
The Hill, February 25, 2019
Unexampled Courage: The Blinding of Sgt. Isaac Woodard and the Awakening of President Harry S. Truman and Judge J. Waties Waring
by Richard Gergel,
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 17, 2019
On Feb. 12, 1946, Sgt. Isaac Woodard, an African-American who had recently been discharged from the U.S. Army, had an altercation with a Greyhound bus driver over his request to... > more
Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America's Journey from Slavery to Segregation
by Steve Luxenberg,
The Florida Courier, February 15, 2019
On June 7, 1892, Homer Plessy, a 29-year-old light-skinned shoemaker, whose family tree contained no enslaved person since 1779, boarded the East Louisiana Railway, and sat in the Whites-only car.... > more
"A National Emergency: Trump Trumps Trump"
The Hill, February 11, 2019
They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South
by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers,
The Florida Courier, February 8, 2019
"Who would choose black, in any capacity except he be held as a salve, and so bound to be obedient and faithful," an affluent white southerner asked.... > more
American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology
by D.W. Pasulka,
Psychology Today, February 5, 2019
Polls indicate that more than a third of Americans believe in extraterrestrial life and UFOs. The percentage of believers is much higher among people between the ages of eighteen and twentyfive. And... > more
Burned: A Story of Murder and the Crime That Wasn't
by Edward Humes,
The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 3, 2019
“If I am wrong,” declared Ron Ablott, the investigator of an apartment fire in a suburb of Los Angeles in which three young children perished, “then everything I have been... > more
Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts
by Jill Abramson,
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 1, 2019
“There’s a battle for attention going on, for attention to news and politics,” BuzzFeed’s Jane Lytvynenko recently observed. “In that battle, virality often wins, and that really warps the truth.”... > more
American Dialogue: The Founders and Us
by Joseph J. Ellis,
The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 20, 2019
The Founding Fathers “are busy being dead,” Joseph Ellis reminds us. That said, he claims that “they still speak to us.” If only we would listen.... > more
The Jewish American Paradox: Embracing Choice in a Changing World
by Robert Mnookin,
The Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2019
Robert Mnookin’s latest work calls to define members of the tribe as those who self-identify as Jews. In the 21st century, the criteria for identifying a Jew remains contested.... > more
Button Man: A Novel
by Andrew Gross,
The Jerusalem Post, January 4, 2019
Morris Rabishevsky, the protagonist of Button Man, Andrew Gross’s new novel, is a fighter who came up the hard way. Early in the 20th century, after his father died,... > more