Madness and Meaning

Even in an age of science, we cannot escape lunacy’s long history of frippery and superstition…
Even in an age of science, we cannot escape lunacy’s long history of frippery and superstition… [More]

How powerful was the Kaiser?

Talking, arguing, shouting, preaching, threatening: Wilhelm II, the last kaiser, “was like a Tourette’s tic at the heart of the state”…
Talking, arguing, shouting, preaching, threatening: Wilhelm II, the last kaiser, “was like a Tourette’s tic at the heart of the state”… [More]

Women’s movement

When feminism took on motherhood, it revealed a big gap between theory and practice. Social change requires more than ideological declarations…
When feminism took on motherhood, it revealed a big gap between theory and practice. Social change requires more than ideological declarations… [More]

History of the gym

For men in ancient Greece, the gymnasium was a place to pursue physical and intellectual excellence. Also sex. Homosexuality shaped gym culture…
For men in ancient Greece, the gymnasium was a place to pursue physical and intellectual excellence. Also sex. Homosexuality shaped gym culture… [More]

Black Power Revisionism

The black power movement’s reputation has been burnished by a rising tide of revisionism. But are these works of exacting scholarship?…
The black power movement’s reputation has been burnished by a rising tide of revisionism. But are these works of exacting scholarship?… [More]

Why We Confess

The theological disclosures of Augustine and the earnestness of De Quincey have given way to a petty, low-stakes literature. Confession has been commodified…
The theological disclosures of Augustine and the earnestness of De Quincey have given way to a petty, low-stakes literature. Confession has been commodified… [More]

Blame the dog

Roughly 40,000 years ago, Neanderthals dwindled and then vanished from Eurasia. What caused this die-off? Modern humans and their dogs…
Roughly 40,000 years ago, Neanderthals dwindled and then vanished from Eurasia. What caused this die-off? Modern humans and their dogs… [More]

History of love songs

“Love shook my senses, / Like wind crashing on the mountain oaks.” Taylor Swift? No, Sappho. The love song is a timeless form…
“Love shook my senses, / Like wind crashing on the mountain oaks.” Taylor Swift? No, Sappho. The love song is a timeless form… [More]

Hair removal

Most animals that possess hair depend on it. Only humans seek to remove it, using increasingly strange and impressive methods…
Most animals that possess hair depend on it. Only humans seek to remove it, using increasingly strange and impressive methods… [More]

Essays on history

Academic historians condemn the past to somehow reform the present. The tendency isn’t new, says Gordon Wood. But it’s getting worse…
Academic historians condemn the past to somehow reform the present. The tendency isn’t new, says Gordon Wood. But it’s getting worse… [More]