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]

Bonfire of the Humanities

Facts are standard fare for historians, but intellectual fashions are what entices them: nationalism, Marxism, postmodernism, globalization…
Facts are standard fare for historians, but intellectual fashions are what entices them: nationalism, Marxism, postmodernism, globalization… [More]

History of lying

Here’s the thing about lying: We all do it – three times in every 10 minutes of conversation – while finding it the most blameworthy of acts…
Here’s the thing about lying: We all do it – three times in every 10 minutes of conversation – while finding it the most blameworthy of acts… [More]

Rhetoric of Cowardice

Cowardice and courage no longer carry the moral resonance they once did. They now tend to be used as goads to violence…
Cowardice and courage no longer carry the moral resonance they once did. They now tend to be used as goads to violence… [More]

New Left history

The writing of history has its own history, which was indelibly shaped by the ambitious and flawed New Left historians…
The writing of history has its own history, which was indelibly shaped by the ambitious and flawed New Left historians… [More]

Changing Climates of History

The less we know about the deep past – and we don’t know much – the more climate looks like an all-purpose explanation of economic and political change…
The less we know about the deep past – and we don’t know much – the more climate looks like an all-purpose explanation of economic and political change… [More]