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Future in Context

Future in Context

The Very First Fourth of July

Thomas Jefferson was not the first choice to write the Declaration of Independence. He accepted the assignment reluctantly, but he brought genius to the project, including the 35 most important words in the English language.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  July 3, 2020
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Future in Context

The Year We Couldn’t Breathe

The act of breathing, which we take for granted, has become the focal point in how we deal with racism, the COVID-19 pandemic and the air our modern society pollutes, killing millions every year.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  June 25, 2020
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Future in Context

Racism and Rights: America’s Long, Complicated History

Many of America’s founders were slaveholders yet wrote eloquently about the rights of man. To understand Jefferson, Washington and the rest, we need to see them for what they are, not for what we wish they had been.

By Clay S. Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  June 17, 2020
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Future in Context

George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution

In his review of Lindsay Chervinsky’s ‘The Cabinet,’ Editor-at-Large Clay Jenkinson finds a well-researched, thoughtful and fascinating book that points to the strength and the weakness of the U.S. Constitution.

By Clay S. Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  June 11, 2020
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Future in Context

The American Ethos and the Betrayal of Expertise

History provides us with numerous examples of how knowledge and, most importantly, leadership either withstood the strain of a crisis, or unraveled. We are in one of those periods right now.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  June 4, 2020
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Future in Context

Why We Should Be Reading Albert Camus During the Pandemic

The author’s masterpiece, The Plague, will make you think, ask all sorts of Socratic questions of yourself and form resolutions about how you intend to measure your life after getting through this global catastrophe.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  May 26, 2020
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Future in Context

Drawing Lessons from a Government Protest in North Dakota

A rally at the steps of the state capitol in Bismarck presents an important moment to revisit the unique federalist form of our republic that Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers created more than 200 years ago.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  May 20, 2020
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Future in Context

Why America's Public Health Has Always Been Fragmented

The nation has enjoyed public health triumphs, with life expectancy far higher than it was a century ago. But responsibility for health has always been scattered, with disease tracking less a priority than treating individuals.

By Alan Greenblatt, Senior Staff Writer  |  May 13, 2020
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How Jefferson and Franklin Helped End Smallpox in America

As the world eagerly awaits a vaccine for the coronavirus, 200 years ago a smallpox cure struggled to gain acceptance. This is how our founding fathers helped promote the medical breakthrough that saved countless lives.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  May 1, 2020
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Future in Context

As the Pandemic Closes the World, the Internet Keeps It Open

Two centuries ago, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had to wait months, sometimes years, for a new book to arrive from Europe. Today, technology has removed boundaries to knowledge that would amaze our founding fathers.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  April 24, 2020
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Future in Context

Smallpox and Indians: When Pandemic Warnings Go Unheeded

We’re at the height of this epidemic, so the collapse of the Mandan Indian Nation in North Dakota in the late 18th and early 19th centuries from outbreaks of smallpox is a reminder of how ignorance can be so deadly.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  April 22, 2020
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