History

The Opposite of Junk

The Opposite of Junk

A dozen journals left to us by my wife’s Scottish grandmother were destined for the recycling bin—until we took a look at what was inside.

Herman Goodden
Herman Goodden
11 min read
Scotland
Science and Civil Liberties: The Lost ACLU Lecture of Carl Sagan

Science and Civil Liberties: The Lost ACLU Lecture of Carl Sagan

Around 1987, Sagan gave an uncannily prescient lecture to the Illinois state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Steven Pinker and Harvey Silverglate
Steven Pinker and Harvey Silverglate
14 min read
Science
The Alchemist Emperor of Prague

The Alchemist Emperor of Prague

As the Holy Roman Empire descended into religious conflicts, its Habsburg ruler surrounded himself with magicians, astrologers, and scryers.

Martyn Rady
Martyn Rady
7 min read
History
Conquering a Balkan Blood Feud—in Bovey, Minnesota

Conquering a Balkan Blood Feud—in Bovey, Minnesota

An American family descended from Serbian and Croatian immigrants finds a way to overcome old-world hatreds.

Jon Zobenica
Jon Zobenica
14 min read
Yugoslavia
Israel’s Perilous Moment, Then and Now

Israel’s Perilous Moment, Then and Now

Herf tells the complicated and often surprising story of the internal political struggles in Western capitals, as well as in the halls of the United Nations, that erupted at the end of the Second World War.

Sol Stern
Sol Stern
13 min read
Politics
The Tragedy of American Diplomacy: A Rebuttal

The Tragedy of American Diplomacy: A Rebuttal

Williams, W. A. (1962). The Tragedy of American Diplomacy. New York: Dell Pub. Co. When the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) pinned Putin’s recent invasion of Ukraine on NATO’s “imperialist expansionism,” many policymakers and journalists on both sides of the political spectrum lambasted the organization for its half-hearted

Niranjan Shankar
Niranjan Shankar
15 min read
foreign policy
The Aztec Way of Empire

The Aztec Way of Empire

Six imperial rulers expanded the Mexica domain from 1430 until 1519, until the Spaniards first set foot in Tenochtitlan and disrupted the Aztec imperial agenda.

Frances F. Berdan
Frances F. Berdan
11 min read
History
Putinism and the Stalinist Legacy

Putinism and the Stalinist Legacy

From the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, justifications offered for Moscow’s aggression must have struck most non-Russian observers as unrealistic, to say the least. Many observers were incredulous that any educated Russian could possibly believe Putin’s claim that Ukraine required “denazification and demilitarization,” or that the country

Tomislav Kardum
Tomislav Kardum
6 min read
Politics