A Gift Guide for Young Historians
The books that made scholars want to devote their future to examining the past.
History, or Just Horror?Should archives make images of eradicated diseases and antiquated treatments available for the world to see?
Slate Voice: “The Self-Made Man” Listen to Slate’s John Swansburg read his story on the myth of the self-made man.
They Can’t Buy BackboneFathers, sons, and the lesson of Herman Blume in my Slate essay about self-made men.
America in AfricaThe tragic, misunderstood history of Liberia—and why the United States has a special obligation to help it fight the Ebola epidemic.
A Short History of Postal BankingAs the debate over reinstituting postal banking heats up, we should know we had it. And it worked.
“A Shocking Sabbath Carnival of Death”James Gordon Bennett Jr.’s most eccentric public service announcement.
The Day We Didn’t Invade NormandyOn June 3, 1944, American radio broadcasters announced that D-Day had begun. Whoops.
Sergeant StubbyAmerica’s original dog of war fought bravely on the Western Front—then helped the nation forget the Great War’s terrible human toll.
The Education of Laura BridgmanShe was Helen Keller before Helen Keller. Then her mentor abandoned their studies.
“A Gun to the Heart of the City”Fifty years ago today, rogue civil rights activists tried to shut down the New York World’s Fair.
The Case of the Closely Watched CourtesansThe French police obsessively tracked the kept women of 18th-century Paris. Why?
The Massive Liberal Failure on RacePart III: The Civil Rights movement ignored one very important, very difficult question. It’s time to answer it.
“Your Future Is Very Dark”The incredible story of former CIA agent John T. Downey, the longest held American captive of war.
“It Wasn’t Just Character. It Was Circumstances.”John Swansburg and his editor Jessica Winter talk about how his history of the self-made man came to life.
Refugees of the Bosphorus Istanbul, 1944: A Bloomingdale’s executive and a future Pope teamed with Jewish intelligence agents to save hundreds of Eastern European Jews.
The First Victim of Sept. 11He was likely the first person killed, but his influence was felt that entire terrible day—online.
The Rock, Pre-Capone The long history of Alcatraz before it became America's first supermax prison.
Happy Captive Nations Week!It’s that time of year when we are supposed to celebrate one of the weirdest artifacts of the Cold War.
Forgetting OdessaThe people of this great Ukrainian port city have a long record of getting their history wrong. Sometimes, that isn’t a bad thing.
The Birth of the Pont NeufHow a simple bridge made Paris the world’s first modern tourist destination.
“I Would Have Followed Them Into Battle”Female Civil War re-enactors march proudly onto the battlefields where their forerunners disguised themselves to fight.
The Unknown SoldiersMax Brooks on his graphic novel about the Harlem Hellfighters—one of the most successful and least celebrated regiments to ever fight for America.
The Massive Liberal Failure on RacePart 2: Affirmative action doesn’t work. It never did. It’s time for a new solution.