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  • Originally published 04/25/2017

    The 1980s: The Good Ol’ Days?

    Kevin Mattson

    Although analogies with the past are usually flawed, we can still look at the past in search for some hope against hope about the present.

  • Originally published 04/24/2017

    Do U.S. Strikes Send a ‘Message’ to Rivals? There’s No Evidence

    The notion that military action in one part of the world will deter adversaries in all others, long common in stump speeches and on cable news chatter, has at times profoundly influenced American foreign policy. There is only one problem: Repeated investigation has found that this notion is baseless.

  • Originally published 04/24/2017

    Now Trump’s Rashly Attacking Canada?

    William Lambers

    We are at peace with Canada thanks to a treaty that went into effect 200 years ago this month. Trump should be celebrating that.

  • Originally published 04/20/2017

    Trump parroted Chinese version of history

    Trump’s inartful retelling of Sino-Korean history sparked widespread outrage among Koreans, who are particularly sensitive to the U.S. president’s rhetoric amid heightened tensions between North and South Korea.

  • Originally published 04/19/2017

    Trump Is Right About One Thing

    Louis A. Ferleger and Jonathan R. Zatlin

    Some of our trading partners aren’t playing fair. Case in point: Germany.  

  • Originally published 04/17/2017

    Who Else Is Trump Like?

    Ronald L. Feinman

    Presidents John Tyler and Andrew Johnson, two previous presidents who faced impeachment.

  • Originally published 04/17/2017

    Trump Vs. Madison. Madison’s Winning.

    Donald J. Fraser

    The parchment barriers Madison and the other Founding Fathers installed in the Constitution are helping check Trump’s overreaching.

  • Originally published 04/17/2017

    All Means, Short of War

    Max Boot

    The U.S. should step up sanctions, including secondary sanctions on Chinese companies doing business with the criminal regime in Pyongyang, but there is no overwhelming imperative to go beyond that and risk war.

  • Originally published 04/17/2017

    All the Presidents' Taxes

    Kevin M. Kruse

    As you file your taxes this week—and as the president talks up tax reform—get riled up all over again about his refusal to release his returns with a brief history of this now-discarded presidential tradition.

  • Originally published 04/11/2017

    Make American Humanitarianism Great Again

    Bradley J. Brewer

    Accepting refugees from Syria will strengthen America – a lesson we learned after World War II when we welcomed German refugees from Europe.

  • Originally published 04/10/2017

    Professor's anti-Trump tweets stir controversy

    History professor Lars Maischak sent out two tweets in February. The first said: "To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better. #TheResistance #DeathToFascism".

  • Originally published 04/10/2017

    The Myth of Main Street

    Louis Hyman

    Don’t listen to President Trump. Going back to the good old days will cost us.

  • Originally published 04/05/2017

    Democratizing U.S. Foreign Policy

    Daniel Bessner and Stephen Wertheim

    In order to restore public trust, foreign policy experts must engage citizens in different, more democratic ways. Fortunately, American history offers guidance for bringing experts and the public back together.

  • Originally published 04/03/2017

    Where Evangelicals Came From

    Garry Wills

    Trump has a style that seems like no style to the “proper” viewer, the “politically correct.” But it's familiar to evangelicals.

  • Originally published 03/24/2017

    How new is “fake news”?

    James W. Cortada

    What history teaches us is that American politics seemed to generate more fake news than almost any other activity of the nation.

  • Originally published 03/21/2017

    Trump V. Kennedy

    Walter G. Moss

    Their different vision of the role of the arts and humanities.

  • Originally published 03/17/2017

    Trump's long disdain for the art world

    He drapes everything in gold. He orders his steaks well-done. He uses Scotch tape to hold his ties together. But as a prominent member of New York City's social elite (more or less) over the past 30-plus years, it's been impossible for him to avoid the art world.

  • Originally published 03/16/2017

    Michael Rogin's relevance in the Age of Trump

    Corey Robin

    Rogin’s work stands as a cautionary note to liberals and the left: When a McCarthy (or Trump) comes along, it's misguided to think normal political rules don't apply. They do despite the lure of far-flung analyses rooted in psychology (e.g.: authoritarianism).

  • Originally published 03/10/2017

    How Nixonian Is Donald Trump?

    Tim Naftali

    A little-known pre-Watergate Nixon scandal helps us understand the road the new president’s traveling.

  • Originally published 03/09/2017

    Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and the Misuse of American History

    Jelani Cobb

    The habitual tendency to excise the most tragic elements of history creates a void in our collective understanding of what has happened in the past and, therefore, our understanding of the potential for tragedy in the present.

  • Originally published 03/07/2017

    Why Trump EO is Still a Racist Muslim Ban

    Juan Cole

    The way you can tell that the list is generated by prejudice rather than security concerns is that there are plenty of states that are in worse shape than some of the 6 named but which are not Muslim-majority.

  • Originally published 03/07/2017

    Trump and the Battle Over Sanctuary in America

    To carry out mass deportations, thousands of new immigration and customs agents would be hired, and local police officers and sheriff’s deputies would be recruited. To do that, the president would need the cooperation of state, county and city officials. What if he does not get it?

  • Originally published 03/06/2017

    No More Saturday Marches

    Nelson Lichtenstein

    The brilliance of strikes and stoppages like the Day Without Immigrants and the Women’s Strike lies in organizers’ willingness to halt business as usual.

  • Originally published 03/03/2017

    American Suspicion of Russia Is Older Than You May Think

    Though the U.S. and the Soviet Union were allies in World War II and helped each other to victory, that cooperation was followed by decades during which the opposition between the two systems they represented dominated global politics.

  • Originally published 02/21/2017

    What Would Woody Do?

    Ron Briley

    The advice folksinger and political activist Woody Guthrie would be giving to us were he alive.

  • Originally published 02/21/2017

    Fake News and the Founding Fathers

    John Avlon

    This administration’s attacks on the press are directed at anyone who dares to disagree or try to hold them accountable. Nothing could be further from the example George Washington set.

  • Originally published 02/20/2017

    A White House Initiative to Defeat Radical Islam

    Daniel Pipes

    The overall goal of the White House Commission on Radical Islam should be to bring the American people together around a common understanding of the enemy's nature, how that enemy can be defeated, and specifics to accomplish this objective.

  • Originally published 02/17/2017

    The Populist Ploy

    Win McCormack

    Revisiting Irving Kristol, the conservative thinker who predicted Trump’s rise.

  • Originally published 02/17/2017

    Trump's America and the rise of the authoritarian personality

    Magnus Linden

    Since the horror of Hitler’s Holocaust, psychologists have investigated why certain individuals appear more prone to follow orders from authority figures, even if it means that they have to sacrifice humanitarian values while doing so.

  • Originally published 02/16/2017

    Is Trump a Populist?

    Finbarr Curtis

    How he compares with William Jennings Bryan, the Populist’s populist, in many contemporaries'' opinion.

  • Originally published 02/16/2017

    Carl Bernstein Smells a Cover Up

    Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein told CNN the Trump administration is trying to cover up its ties to Russia.

  • Originally published 02/15/2017

    Beware a Trump Reichstag Fire

    Robert S. McElvaine

    "Ever since the election, I have been concerned about and warning others of the possibility of Donald Trump using a terrorist attack in the United States the way Adolf Hitler used the burning of the Reichstag (parliament) building in Berlin in 1933 as a pretext to seize authoritarian power and destroy our Constitutional system."

  • Originally published 02/15/2017

    Have You Seen the Pictures of Trump Naked?

    Thomas A. Foster

    Trump may be different from all previous presidents, but artists are giving him the same treatment they’ve given other leaders disdained by large numbers of people.

  • Originally published 02/13/2017

    Partisan at the pulpit: The Johnson amendment

    Randall Balmer

    Donald Trump’s promise to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment, delivered at the National Prayer Breakfast last week, is a totally bad idea, one that compromises the First Amendment.

  • Originally published 02/08/2017

    Frederick Douglass, Refugee

    David Blight

    Throughout modern history, the millions forced to flee as refugees and beg for asylum have felt Douglass’s agony, and thought his thoughts.

  • Originally published 02/07/2017

    How to Tame Donald Trump

    John A. Farrell

    A lesson for the opposition, from Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Richard Nixon.

  • Originally published 02/06/2017

    When Tyrants Banned Religious Minorities

    Looking back over the course of the past 2,000 years, it is remarkable how many of these violent and discriminatory measures were about profit and patriotism.

  • Originally published 02/06/2017

    Teaching Southern and Black History Under Trump

    “I don’t know that Trump has historical awareness at all.” – Fitzhugh Brundage, the chair of the history department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Originally published 02/03/2017

    Teaching History in the Age of Trump

    Denver Brunsman and John Donoghue

    We have each, in different ways, found ourselves in the crosshairs of right-wing attacks in the past several weeks.

  • Originally published 02/02/2017

    The Jacksonian Revolt

    Walter Russell Mead

    Many Jacksonians came to believe that the American establishment was no longer reliably patriotic, with “patriotism” defined as an instinctive loyalty to the well-being and values of Jacksonian America.

  • Originally published 01/31/2017

    AHA Condemns Executive Order Restricting Entry to the United States

    "The order will have a significant and detrimental impact on thousands of innocent people, whether inhabitants of refugee camps across the world who have waited months or even years for interviews scheduled in the coming month (now canceled), travelers en route to the United States with valid visas or other documentation, or other categories of residents of the United States, including many of our students and colleagues."

  • Originally published 01/30/2017

    Huddled Masses–Keep Out!

    Bob Buzzanco

    Not since I had to remember and recite “The New Colossus” in elementary school have I seen so many references to Emma Lazarus’s poem on the Statue of Liberty as in the past week.

  • Originally published 01/30/2017

    A President's First 100 Days

    Historians compared the first 100 days of previous presidents and talked about priorities for the new Trump administration.

  • Originally published 01/27/2017

    2017 isn’t ‘1984’ – it’s stranger than Orwell imagined

    John Broich

    In Orwell’s Oceania, there is no freedom to speak facts except those that are official. In 2017 America, at least among many of the powerful minority who selected its president, the more official the fact, the more dubious.

  • Originally published 01/25/2017

    Remember John Tower

    Samuel J. Abrams

    Presidents don’t always get their way.

  • Originally published 01/23/2017

    Can Trump make real change as president?

    Sharece Thrower

    Despite his distinct individuality, Trump faces the same institutional constraints as any other president. In the end, he may be a more predictable president than many would believe.

  • Originally published 01/23/2017

    Lest We Forget

    Bill Moyers and four historians on the big lie behind the rise of Trump.

  • Originally published 01/20/2017

    Trump’s Washington Wedding

    Jill Lepore

    An American Inauguration is like a wedding: the President is the groom, the people his bride. Donald Trump is about to pledge his troth. It didn’t always work this way, and, really, it shouldn’t. Washington isn’t Vegas.

  • Originally published 01/19/2017

    Emotional Politics Won the 2016 Election

    Jeremy C. Young

    It’s easy for Democrats to criticize Trump as a demagogue or his voters as unreasoning dupes. In truth, however, American democracy has never operated primarily on the basis of reasoned debate.

  • Originally published 01/16/2017

    Trump’s Ohio win truly was historic

    In 22 counties — exactly a quarter of Ohio’s total — Trump rolled up the largest percentage of any Republican ever. Yes, that’s since 1856.

  • Originally published 01/13/2017

    What If a President Loses Control?

    Jeffrey Frank

    There’s no need to dwell on the particular character of Trump, but it is worth examining what remedies exist if any President is too careless, inattentive, or impulsive to deal sensibly with questions affecting the nation’s survival.

  • Originally published 01/11/2017

    Trump’s lawyer is totally wrong about Nelson Rockefeller

    It is simply not true that no one was so concerned about Rockefeller's potential financial conflicts of interest. On the contrary, in a September 1974 article, Linda Charlton reported for the New York Times: “Rockefeller Vows Full Cooperation.”

  • Originally published 01/09/2017

    When George Wallace Came to Town

    Joe Allen

    Donald Trump’s appeal to some suffering white workers shouldn’t surprise us. George Wallace did the same thing four decades ago.

  • Originally published 01/09/2017

    Martin Luther King Day With Trump

    Jelani Cobb

    The holiday will be presided over by a President who scarcely seems to comprehend King’s principles.

  • Originally published 01/05/2017

    From Willie Horton to Donald Trump

    Doug Rossinow

    Of all recent Republican standard-bearers, the one whose presidential campaign stands out as the most shockingly exploitative and hateful is the one who figures least of all in liberal narratives of Republican moral decline. That is the first President George Bush.

  • Originally published 01/05/2017

    No! The Electoral College Was Not about Slavery!

    Gary L. Gregg II

    The opponents of the Electoral College, in attempting to undermine support for the institution, have painted it with an unfair half-truth that distorts the historical record as well as the constitutional principles undergirding the system itself.

  • Originally published 01/02/2017

    Trump is more paranoid and dangerous than Nixon

    Rick Perlstein

    There are two key differences that set Trump apart from his predecessor in paranoia. First, his soul is sicker by miles than Nixon’s. And second, the surveillance apparatus he is about to inherit is far scarier than the one available to Nixon.

  • Originally published 01/02/2017

    Many in U.S. Skeptical Trump Can Handle Presidential Duties

    As Donald Trump prepares to take the presidential oath on Jan. 20, less than half of Americans are confident in his ability to handle an international crisis, to use military force wisely, or to prevent major scandals in his administration.

  • Originally published 12/29/2016

    How Trump's win becomes another 'Lost Cause'

    After President-elect Donald Trump's recent victory, some of his supporters celebrated by flying Confederate battle flags from pickup trucks and waving them at rallies. But Trump's victory may mark the resurgence of the Old South in another more sinister way: The return of "racial amnesia."

  • Originally published 12/28/2016

    Pink-Collar Pain and Our New President

    Katherine Turk

    American women should spotlight shared concerns and demand that Trump do much more for laborers than search for the blue collar jobs that were more likely automated than exported.

  • Originally published 12/26/2016

    More states consider circumventing the Electoral College

    In states including Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Mexico, legislators have said they plan to introduce legislation that would require their state’s Electoral College voters cast ballots for the presidential candidate who earns the most votes nationwide, regardless of the statewide results.

  • Originally published 12/20/2016

    The Danger of Making an Oil Man Secretary of State

    Chad H. Parker

    With a career pursuing goals independent of the very department he will head, history tells us that we should have little confidence that Rex Tillerson will serve the public.

  • Originally published 12/19/2016

    How Germany’s electoral college was set up to prevent another Hitler

    German post-war politicians were horrified by the possibility of another fascist populist gaining widespread support among the public. So they decided to make the election of the German president a decision of a Federal Assembly, which meets only for that purpose.

  • Originally published 12/13/2016

    An Intellectual History of Trumpism

    David Greenberg

    Trump’s ideology has deep roots in U.S. history. But this is the first time it’s made it to the White House.

  • Originally published 12/12/2016

    Can Cultural History Explain the Trump Phenomenon?

    David A. Horowitz

    The Second Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s arguably represents the combination of white cultural nationalism, traditional morality, and populist self-identity we are seeing today.

  • Originally published 12/09/2016

    Trump’s Got No Mandate

    Ronald L. Feinman

    He not only badly lost the popular vote, he did this in an election where there was no major third party candidate to blame for his receiving a low total. This is unprecedented.

  • Originally published 12/05/2016

    The Rush To Normalize Trump

    Rick Perlstein

    The mainstream media is woefully unprepared to grapple with the hatred and trauma of this election.

  • Originally published 12/05/2016

    Is Democracy Doomed? We've Been Here Before.

    Bill Scher

    The value of democracy was widely questioned in the mid-1930s, as the Great Depression was yet to be tamed during the early stages of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency.

  • Originally published 12/05/2016

    Sinclair Lewis Predicted Trump—And Us

    In his 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here, the Nobel prize winning author created a demagogue remarkably similar to Trump. He also nailed America’s love affair with demagogues.

  • Originally published 11/29/2016


    Andrew J. Bacevich

    Trump loves winning, but American generals have forgotten how.

  • Originally published 11/29/2016

    War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Trump Won In A Landslide.

    Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, has been touting her boss’s margin of victory in the Electoral College. But in a historical context, Trump’s Electoral College performance is decidedly below-average.

  • Originally published 11/28/2016

    After the Know-Nothings

    Johann N. Neem

    Like today, many political leaders in the 1850s were surprised by the Know-Nothings’ success.

  • Originally published 11/28/2016

    What is an emolument and why do we care?

    President-elect Donald J. Trump might have some unique decisions to make about how his business assets are managed as he serves in the White House, thanks to an obscure constitutional clause.

  • Originally published 11/28/2016

    FDR’s Bumpy Road to the Oval Office

    Kathryn Smith

    FDR’s journey was a roller coaster ride, including an assassination attempt, a P.R. disaster, the failure of thousands of banks and the untimely death of a key cabinet appointment.

  • Originally published 11/28/2016

    Historian finds German decree banishing Trump's grandfather

    Friedrich Trump, a German, was issued with the document in February 1905, and ordered to leave the kingdom of Bavaria within eight weeks as punishment for having failed to do mandatory military service and failing to give authorities notice of his departure to the US when he first emigrated in 1885.

  • Originally published 11/14/2016

    What Whiteness Means in the Trump Era

    Nell Irvin Painter

    Nell Irvin Painter is a professor emeritus of history at Princeton University and the author of “The History of White People.”

  • Originally published 11/14/2016

    Thanks Trump!

    Kevin Baker

    What he got right about American democracy.

  • Originally published 11/11/2016

    Don’t Blame Hillary Clinton

    Allan J. Lichtman

    The historian who predicted Trump’s victory says Democrats need to revamp their party by adopting Bernie Sanders’s approach (but not on trade).

  • Originally published 11/11/2016

    Use Electoral College as Founders Intended

    Robert S. McElvaine

    The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College for precisely the purpose of preventing someone like Donald Trump from becoming president.

  • Originally published 11/07/2016

    Donald Trump and the Death of American Exceptionalism

    Jelani Cobb

    The problem of Trump is not simply that his opinions far exceed his knowledge; it’s that what he does know is so hostile to democracy, not only in the Republican Party or the United States but in the world.

  • Originally published 11/07/2016

    Disciples of Distrust

    Garry Wills

    Even comparing Trump to American demagogues is unfair—unfair to the past demagogues.

  • Originally published 10/18/2016

    Rise of the Reactionary

    Sam Tanenhaus

    How a handful of Weimar émigrés came to have an outsized influence on the ideology of the American right.

  • Originally published 10/12/2016

    Why Trump’s tape could destroy the GOP

    Heather Cox Richardson

    The release of the tape may force regular Republican voters to face the reality that the movement conservatives’ demonization of minorities, organized workers, and women who demanded equality was never really about protecting hardworking American families. 

  • Originally published 10/12/2016

    Donald Trump, the Great Embarrassment

    Jill Lepore

    The history of American politics is littered with carnage, but little compares to what’s currently roiling the Republican Party.

  • Originally published 10/10/2016

    Know-Nothing Bigot Who Won Big

    Gil Troy

    He trashed immigrants, targeted one religious group, and brought political discourse to a new low.

  • Originally published 10/10/2016

    Does Trump’s Rise Mean Liberalism’s End?

    Yuval Noah Harari

    The story that has ruled our world in the past few decades is what we might call the Liberal Story. It was a simple and attractive tale, but it is now collapsing.

  • Originally published 09/29/2016

    Frontline does Trump & Clinton

    FRONTLINE goes behind the headlines to investigate what has shaped Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — where they came from, how they lead and why they want one of the most difficult jobs imaginable.

  • Originally published 09/26/2016

    The Man Who Went Full Trump for FDR

    Gil Troy

    He made up stories to smear the opposition and barely backpedaled when called out—Charlie Michelson perfected the nasty art of political mud-slinging.

  • Originally published 09/20/2016

    There’s No Debate

    Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

    The candidates and the media have thoroughly corrupted the presidential debates. Our democracy deserves better. There's still time for a change.

  • Originally published 09/19/2016

    Are we in for an October Surprise?

    Julian Zelizer

    On the rare occasions when October Surprises have happened, they have not really impacted the outcome of the election.

  • Originally published 09/19/2016

    The Impact of Debates? It's Debatable

    A review of data since 1960 suggests that past debates have almost never directly and measurably changed the candidates' relative standings.

  • Originally published 09/16/2016

    When Donald Meets Hillary

    James Fallows

    Who will win the debates? Trump’s approach was an important part of his strength in the primaries. But will it work when he faces Clinton onstage?

  • Originally published 09/13/2016

    The Great, Sad, Impractical, Wall of Trump

    Fred Zilian

    History shows great resources have to be spent on the building and maintenance of walls and even then human beings find ways around them.

  • Originally published 09/07/2016

    Trump Touts Pledge of Allegiance with Socialist Roots

    Peter Dreier

    Donald Trump’s vision of America clashes sharply with the original intent behind the Pledge of Allegiance, penned during the Gilded Age to promote equity, tolerance, and progressive ideals.

  • Originally published 09/06/2016

    What The Donald Shares With The Ronald

    Frank Rich

    They may be stylistically different, but Trump and Reagan marketed the same brand of outrage to the same angry segments of the electorate.

  • Originally published 09/06/2016

    Donald Trump’s history at church

    For all that has been written about Mr. Trump, relatively little attention has been paid to the time he spent at Marble Collegiate Church and his relationship with the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale.

  • Originally published 09/05/2016

    Trumpism is a new phenomenon

    George H. Nash

    Trumpist populism is defiantly challenging the fundamental tenets and perspectives of every component of the post–1945 conservative coalition.

  • Originally published 08/30/2016

    Are Trump and Putin in Cahoots?

    Bruce W. Dearstyne

    This lesson from history suggests the charge came early enough for Trump to defuse it, but he might not be so lucky if another bombshell comes late in the race.

  • Originally published 08/28/2016

    Living in LBJ’s America

    Kevin Baker

    How two of his least celebrated accomplishments shaped the battle between Clinton and Trump.

  • Originally published 08/27/2016

    CIA reveals its secret briefings to Presidents Nixon and Ford

    Tim Naftali

    For years the CIA shielded from public view every single one of the briefings that it produces daily for the president's eyes only, arguing that even letting go one 50-year old briefing could harm national security.

  • Originally published 08/16/2016

    Fact Check: Trump gets his Mideast history wrong

    Donald Trump on Monday painted the Middle East as an oasis of stability before Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, arguing that she and President Barack Obama "launched" the Islamic State group onto the world.

  • Originally published 08/15/2016

    Postscript to “Is Donald Trump a Fascist?”

    Jeffrey Herf

    Trump understands what the classic demagogues of the 20th century understood: namely, that in a democracy it is possible to gain millions of votes by appealing to the worst in people.

  • Originally published 08/11/2016

    Trump: A True Story

    The mogul, in a 2007 deposition, had to face up to a series of falsehoods and exaggerations. And he did. Sort of.

  • Originally published 08/02/2016

    A Tale of Two Conventions

    Jill Lepore

    The spectacles in Cleveland and Philadelphia both came down to a question as old as the Republic: who are the people and who speaks for them?

  • Originally published 07/29/2016

    Taking the Nostalgia of Trump Supporters Seriously

    Stephanie Coontz

    Nostalgia often arises out of a real experience of loss. It needs to be addressed and redirected, not ridiculed or denounced. And that applies to the nostalgia that motivates a considerable number of Trump supporters.

  • Originally published 07/27/2016

    Paranoid Republidents for Trump

    Niall Ferguson

    Trump's movement rests on what Richard Hofstadter called the "paranoid style of American politics."

  • Originally published 07/18/2016

    Over 600 historians sign "Historians Against Trump" open letter in first week

    Signatories include American Historical Association Past President and National Humanities Medal recipient Professor Vicki Ruiz, Professors Ellen Carol DuBois, Geoff Eley, Glenda E. Gilmore, Maurice Isserman, Valerie Ann Johnson, Kevin Mattson, Thomas McAffee, Deborah Dash Moore, Claire Potter, and historical researcher Michael Hill.

  • Originally published 06/30/2016

    The Sound of Bigotry

    Rockwell Stensrud

    Bigotry has long had a voice in American politics. It has an East Coast edge, a Midwest flatness, a Southern drawl, a West Coast slackness.

  • Originally published 06/30/2016

    A Hater for All Seasons

    Garry Wills

    There was something almost mystical about the past year of Donald Trump. How can one man can be such a shape shifter?

  • Originally published 06/23/2016

    The Woman Card

    Jill Lepore

    How feminism and antifeminism created Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

  • Originally published 06/21/2016

    Trump, His Virus and the Dark Age of Unreason

    Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

    He's the latest in a long line of American demagogues but has come closest to the White House. That makes him the most dangerous of them all.

  • Originally published 06/21/2016

    Poor White Politics

    Nancy Isenberg

    Class prejudice has a history at least as old as the Jamestown settlement.

  • Originally published 06/20/2016

    The GOP Deserves Trump

    Robert Brent Toplin

    After selecting candidates like Quayle, Palin and Bush II, they set a low bar for high office.

  • Originally published 06/20/2016

    Donald Trump’s Place

    Kevin Baker

    A year into his campaign, it’s still not clear exactly where he’s coming from or where he’s going.

  • Originally published 06/15/2016

    Henry Ford’s Campaign to Make America Great Again

    In the 1924 presidential election, the most hyped candidate was an egotistical and fabulously wealthy businessman who many politicians did not believe would really run. That man was legendary carmaker Henry Ford.

  • Originally published 06/13/2016

    Why Trump Now? It’s the Empire, Stupid

    Greg Grandin

    Empire allowed the United States to avoid a true reckoning with the social problems, such as poverty, inequality, racism, crime and punishment, and domestic violence, caused by America’s brand of largely unfettered capitalism.

  • Originally published 06/12/2016

    The GOP Needs to Be Fixed

    Ray Smock

    The crisis of our national politics right now is not the failure of both parties as much as it is the failure of the Republican Party.

  • Originally published 06/10/2016

    The Rise and Fall of the White Working Class

    Stephen W. Campbell

    How wealthier whites through the centuries successfully employed a “divide and conquer” strategy that brought together whites of all social classes under a common racial identity with a common enemy. Which brings us to Donald Trump.

  • Originally published 05/30/2016

    The GOP Is Dying

    Ronald L. Feinman

    Trump’s triumph marks the end of a once great (but flawed) American party.

  • Originally published 05/29/2016

    The United States of Trumpistan?

    Manisha Sinha

    To understand the Trump phenomenon, political commentators have pointed to the rise of Hitler and the recent growing political strength of the far right in the continent. In fact, they should be looking closer to home.

  • Originally published 05/23/2016

    The Main Problem with Donald Trump: He's a Fool

    Walter G. Moss

    As a nation, we can only hope that come November we will not be heading toward the disgrace that Donald Trump’s pride and arrogance would surely produce.

  • Originally published 05/05/2016

    Historian: How would Jefferson view Trump?

    Joseph J. Ellis

    The presidential candidacy of Trump defies national comprehension, though the Republican establishment, for good reason, is not laughing.

  • Originally published 05/03/2016

    Trumpology: A Master Class

    Susan Glasser and Michael Kruse

    There are five people who’ve gone deeper on The Donald than anyone else alive. We brought them together for the definitive conversation about who he really is.

  • Originally published 04/28/2016

    Trump's 'America First' has ugly echoes from U.S. history

    Susan Dunn

    Donald Trump chose to brand his foreign policy with the noxious slogan "America First," the name of the isolationist, defeatist, anti-Semitic national organization that urged the United States to appease Adolf Hitler.

  • Originally published 04/18/2016

    Avenging Angels

    Rick Perlstein

    The New York Values that Shaped Donald Trump

  • Originally published 04/09/2016

    Before the Trumps, There Were the Wendels

    The most well-known developer in New York today may be a man with national aspirations and a propensity to talk off the top of his extravagantly coifed head, but a century ago, the headlines were commanded by a real estate family with an aversion to publicity and the trappings of wealth.

  • Originally published 04/09/2016

    Donald Trump’s Nuclear Uncle

    Amy Davidson

    He mentions his uncle so often, and in such extravagant terms—“brilliant,” “one of the top, top professors at M.I.T.”—that it seems worth asking what the professor and his arcane knowledge mean to him.

  • Originally published 03/31/2016

    The GOP's Resilience Is Time-Tested

    Nancy C. Unger

    Some Republicans hope that the nomination can be wrested from Trump at the convention, a ploy that failed for Roosevelt supporters in 1912.

  • Originally published 03/28/2016

    Trump and the Problem of History

    Ian P. Beacock

    The past warns us that systems work until they don’t. Watching Trump prepare to seize the Republican nomination, it’s easy to surrender to a kind of civic paralysis that’s equal parts horror and glee.

  • Originally published 03/25/2016

    Weimar America?

    Eric D. Weitz

    Forget Trump. It's the people who paved the way for him who seem uncomfortably familiar to an expert on pre-Nazi Germany.

  • Originally published 03/21/2016

    No, Trump Won’t Be Another Hitler

    Adam Mala

    For one thing, it is hard to envision how a man of almost 70 who spent his entire life working in the private sector could be a Hitler due to his age. History shows that becoming a despot is a young(ish) man’s game.  

  • Originally published 03/08/2016

    Is Donald Trump a Fascist?

    Jeffrey Herf

    The short answer is “no,” but there’s plenty of room for discomfort.

  • Originally published 03/08/2016

    Crying Trump

    Jill Lepore

    To be fair, it’s not hard to understand why it took the G.O.P. and much of the press so long, too long, to take Donald Trump’s candidacy seriously. Many times before, he flirted with running, and, each time, he quit. His bids were stunts.

  • Originally published 03/07/2016

    Is this the end of the West as we know it?

    Anne Applebaum

    We are faced with the real possibility of Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump, which means we have to take seriously the possibility of a President Trump.

  • Originally published 03/04/2016

    Republican Turmoil Has Historians Straining for Parallels

    Al Smith, who in 1928 was the governor of New York and the Democratic presidential nominee, later turned on Franklin D. Roosevelt during the New Deal and warned, much as Mr. Romney did on Thursday, that Roosevelt’s liberal policies would lead toward totalitarianism.

  • Originally published 02/24/2016

    Might Makes Right: An American Tradition

    William Astore

    To hear Republican candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz talk, almost any act of violence is justifiable to defeat the enemy.

  • Originally published 02/24/2016

    Donald Trump’s Honesty Problem

    Max Boot

    A significant share of the GOP electorate, amounting to roughly a third of early state voters, has been supporting him in no small part because they think he is telling it “like it is.” No, he isn’t. What he is saying bears no relation to basic truth or common decency.

  • Originally published 02/09/2016

    Trump’s 19th Century Foreign Policy

    Thomas Wright

    His views aren’t as confused as they seem. In fact, they’re remarkably consistent—and they have a long history.

  • Originally published 01/21/2016

    Reagan Historian Craig Shirley Thinks Trump, or Cruz Could Beat Hillary

    Shirley said that he thinks Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) could likely reassemble the old so-called Reagan coalition to beat Hillary, while adding that Trump’s “developing” conservatism, which he termed “Trumpism” could likely also beat her and perhaps even more handily.

  • Originally published 01/20/2016

    Clinton Library set to release Donald Trump records

    The library is set to make public nearly 500 pages of records pertaining to Trump, detailing the Clinton White House's interactions with Trump and his Trump Organization, as well as how Clinton aides prepared to field questions about Trump's entry into the 2000 presidential race.

  • Originally published 01/19/2016

    Natural-Born Presidents

    Jill Lepore

    To cling to the narrowest possible meaning of “natural born citizen” is to cling to the narrowest possible understanding of citizenship.

  • Originally published 01/15/2016

    Trump follows in the footsteps of man he claims to despise

    Bruce J. Schulman

    A Washington outsider, anathema to his party’s establishment, rides a wave of discontent with politics-as-usual to an early lead in the presidential nominating contest. Donald Trump in 2016? No, Jimmy Carter in 1976.

  • Originally published 01/08/2016

    What Donald Trump Owes George Wallace

    Dan T. Carter

    The real estate mogul won’t be the president, just as the former Alabama governor wasn’t. But losers as well as winners shape the future.

  • Originally published 12/15/2015

    Trumping History

    Michael Kazin

    The Trump phenomenon is better understood as an amalgam of three different, largely pathological strains in American history and culture.

  • Originally published 12/15/2015

    GOP: A Neo-Fascist White-Identity Party?

    Michael Tomasky

    It started 20 years ago, with pandering to racist and xenophobic movements. But today, in Trump’s GOP, it’s not so fringe anymore.

  • Originally published 12/10/2015

    Trump: A Modern Day Joe McCarthy

    Max Boot

    Most reporters abhor Trump and everything he stands for. Yet they remain the instrument by which he is able to elevate himself to the top of the Republican race and to the center of the national conversation.

  • Originally published 12/08/2015

    Is Donald Trump a fascist?

    "My first reaction is that he is not principled enough to be a Fascist." -- Historian

  • Originally published 12/03/2015

    Know Nothings – The Sequel

    John Dickson

    The shameful ignorance on display in this presidential election – by the people running for high office.

  • Originally published 11/19/2015

    Party Like It Is 1932

    Andrew Meyer

    Donald Trump's recent assent to the idea that Muslim Americans be given special identifications is so grotesquely reminiscent of the yellow "Star of David" badges issued by the Nazi regime as to boggle the mind. The situation might be tragically laughable if Trump himself were not still gaining in the polls.

  • Originally published 11/04/2015

    For Trump, it’s the branding strategy, stupid

    Brian Balogh

    Political pundits should stop asking what Trump plans to do as president. Instead, they should examine the impact that his campaign has had on the value of his brand’s bottom line.

  • Originally published 09/22/2015

    Bernie, Donald, and the Promise of Populism

    William Greider

    Both candidates have been mislabeled as populists. The movement of that name was a genuine people’s rebellion that reinvigorated democracy. We can do it again.

  • Originally published 09/16/2015

    Donald Trump Is Reagan’s Heir

    Matthew Pressman

    The real-estate mogul is deploying similar tactics, but can he convince America to take a chance on him like the nation once did with Reagan?

  • Originally published 09/15/2015

    If Goldwater can win the GOP nomination, why not Trump?

    Christopher Parker

    After Republican nominee Richard Nixon lost a close election in 1960, the more conservative faction of the GOP sought a “real” conservative standard-bearer in 1964, and found one in Goldwater. He would go on to win the Republican nomination.

  • Originally published 09/07/2015

    The Forebears of Trumpism

    Leo P. Ribuffo

    Where does Donald Trump fit into the bricolage of countersubversives, bigots, and opportunists?

  • Originally published 08/31/2015

    Trump reminds me of _____.

    Politico Magazine asked a handful of historians to weigh in on the historical figures to which Trump has been compared.

  • Originally published 08/13/2015

    Why the Left Should Fear Donald Trump

    T. Evan Faulkenbury

    As Arthur Schlesinger Jr. warned 65 years ago, candidates like Trump can unleash forces that undermine democracy.

  • Originally published 08/12/2015

    What History Teaches Us About Trump's Lead in Polls

    For now, Donald Trump continues to be the "Teflon Don" of the 2016 presidential race, with very early indicators showing his frontrunner status is still intact after the first GOP debate. But just how much does it matter?

  • Originally published 11/05/2013

    Rethinking German Pacifism

    Jochen Bittner

    Has Europe’s strongest nation really chosen to become the world’s biggest Switzerland?

  • Originally published 10/30/2013

    You Don’t Need a Weatherman

    Jon Wiener

    Jon Wiener on Bill Ayers' new autobiography, "Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident."

  • Originally published 03/21/2017

    Democracy Demands Wisdom In Its Citizens

    Steve Hochstadt

    Conservative Republican politicians don’t believe that “democracy demands wisdom and vision in its citizens”. They attack the findings of geology, evolutionary biology, and climate science. They support the spread of fake news and promote alternative facts. They disparage the media in general. There is nothing new about the attacks on truth and knowledge by the Trump administration except its shamelessness.

  • Originally published 02/21/2017

    The World is Laughing at America

    Steve Hochstadt

    A Dutch television program aired a satirical video with a voice-over pretending to be Donald Trump. Soon similar videos were being produced by late-night shows across Europe. The whole world is invited to laugh at, and simultaneously disdain, the American President. America has become the laughingstock of the world.

  • Originally published 02/15/2017


    Stone Age Brain

    And what it means when we have a president who lies.

  • Originally published 01/22/2017


    Gil Troy

    Trump keeps doubling-down, playing to his core, refusing to stretch. The result was a trashy transition, a polarizing inauguration, and a new president who has yet to appear presidential.

  • Originally published 01/19/2017

    An Inaugural Prayer: Stretch Yourself as Person and President – to Stretch us too…

    Gil Troy

    Although I am no theologian, America desperately needs inaugural prayers. Here is the benediction I would offer, if invited to Donald Trump’s Swearing-in (and no, I wouldn’t boycott – Democrats should remember all the civics lectures they gave Trump about respecting the people’s choice when they expected Hillary Clinton to win, and now attend graciously).  

  • Originally published 01/12/2017

    Obama's Legacy in Science, Technology, and Innovation

    Infinity, Limited

    What will be the legacy of Barack Obama's policies in science, technology, and innovation?  His most important policy was not a specific goal but promoting the scientific approach -- experimental, data-driven, open, and transparent -- as an integral part of federal policy making and implementation.  

  • Originally published 12/15/2016

    We Need Help Fighting the Banks

    Steve Hochstadt

    Dodd-Frank makes it less possible for the big banks to push us into tilted arbitration when the banks act like Wells Fargo. It’s an equalizer for the little consumer dealing with the big banks. Without it, we’re at their mercy.

  • Originally published 10/18/2016

    Republican Conspiracy Theories

    Steve Hochstadt

    Republican voters have been well prepared by their political leaders to believe wild theories which make them victims of vast conspiracies.

  • Originally published 09/30/2016

    Donald Trump Believes in Climate Change

    Steve Hochstadt

    When he considers his financial interests, Trump is a climate change believer. Trump the businessman was arguing with the Irish authorities about allowing him to make an extraordinary investment to protect his property over the course of this century, because “it could reasonably be expected that the rate of sea level rise might become twice of that presently occurring”. All the while, Trump the politician insisted over and over to the American public that he did not believe in global warming, that the scientists cited in his Irish petition were liars and cheaters, that the whole thing was a hoax.

  • Originally published 08/18/2016

    Trumped-up Reaganomics

    Iwan Morgan

    Reagan indeed cut taxes -- but he also raised them. Here's what else Trump needs to understand about the Reagan economy. 

  • Originally published 04/17/2016

    C-SPAN Interview: Book Discussion on Political Animals

    Stone Age Brain

    Author Rick Shenkman talked about his book, Political Animals: How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics, about how voters' instincts are a factor in the 2016 presidential campaign.

  • Originally published 04/13/2016

    To White Men Who Like Trump

    Steve Hochstadt

    The economic program Republicans have offered to the American middle class has been remarkably consistent: give more money to the richest Americans by radically cutting their taxes. Trump has shown not the slightest sign that he cares about or will do anything for Americans who are struggling.

  • Originally published 04/05/2016

    Donald Trump Is Done

    Steve Hochstadt

    I think Trump is done. Or as my mother-in-law would say, “Done is for meat. Trump is finished.” Everyone who said that before was wrong. But now his run is over.

  • Originally published 03/15/2016

    Why Are Some Americans So Angry?

    Steve Hochstadt

    Trump the birther gave birth to Trump the candidate. Outrageous racist attacks on a black President provided a base of support: two-thirds of Trump supporters still believe that Obama is a Muslim born outside of the US.

  • Originally published 03/08/2016

    Donald Trump, the He-Man

    Steve Hochstadt

    One could suspect that a man who can’t stop touting his masculinity might be less certain than he proclaims.

  • Originally published 01/22/2016

    Trump’s Genius

    Stone Age Brain

    He understands this one important truth about politics.  The election is not about him, it's about us and our feelings. -- Rick Shenkman

  • Originally published 12/22/2015

    It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's Superman!

    Steve Hochstadt

    Superman was the great savior during my childhood, along with a few other heros with seemingly superhuman abilities to dodge bullets and fight evil, like Wyatt Earp and Matt Dillon. It’s thrilling to know that a real, live Superman now flies among us, fighting evil and saving America. Of course, I mean Donald Trump.

  • Originally published 09/22/2015

    What Do Republican Voters Want?

    Steve Hochstadt

    Republican voters want a confrontational outsider. Not necessarily a belligerent lover of personal confrontations like Trump. Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson act more decorously, but their policies are belligerent.