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The Future in Context

From 1890-1930, they exploded across the American landscape, offering people the chance to own a home just outside the city. Lack of government support curtailed their growth, but these historic neighborhoods serve as models for efficient urban planning.
A liberal arts education is about more than preparing students with skills in demand in the marketplace. Author Roosevelt Montás explains how studying "the classics" can change lives and matter more than ever.
Located in upstate New York with a population of less than 4,000, Lake Placid was not an obvious choice for the 1932 Winter Olympics. But one man used his political savvy – with a little help from a future president – to turn the town into a two-time Olympic host.
Historian H. W. Brands’ new book draws out the complexities of the country’s original great struggle and what it can tell us about where we are today.
Journalist and historian Jay Cost says this is not the time to get rid of parties but have them rise to the challenge and help make a more perfect union.
Misinformation is a political game that has been played for more than 200 years between presidents and the press. While the tools have changed over the years, the tactics of rumors, attacks and lies remain the same.
Iconic in western films and a classic Gene Autry tune, these giant thistles became a metaphor for doom and resilience in the middle of middle America.
Native Americans have had a deep-seated dislike for Thanksgiving and its sanitized version of colonial history. Fifty years ago, they took action and said enough is enough. A protest was born.
Author and federal judge Jeffrey Sutton argues the legislative branch of states should take a larger role in constitutional experimentation, and we should ask less of the judicial branch.
Historian Richard White talks about the greed, ineptitude and economic cost behind the transcontinental railroads of the 19th century, and what that says about the development of infrastructure today.
Our resident humanities scholar has been thinking about whether we can learn to live up to the Declaration of Independence’s aspiration that all of us are created equal.
Robert P. Jones says systemic racism is in the DNA of American Christianity and the communities it helped shape but holds out hope for redemption. The opportunity lies in telling a truer story about the founding of the church.
Some wrote for financial stability. Others wanted to rehabilitate their reputation as a leader. No matter the reason, these memoirs provide the country with a window of transparency into our presidents.
As world leaders gather for the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow next week, a group of scientists who are also mothers are fighting to preserve the climate for their children here at home.
The former heavyweight boxing champion and philanthropist floated like a butterfly, stung like a bee, danced at the edge of death and spoke truth to power. A new Ken and Sarah Burns documentary compels us to take a hard look at ourselves in the mirror of the "great one."
A collapsing rural economy and what to do about it has been a long-term policy problem. In the 1890s, states combined sentimentality and patriotism to woo young people back to their hometowns in New England and beyond.
The country’s political environment has left many wanting to live in communities of like-minded individuals or to be left alone. But as Jefferson made clear, turning away from the public arena will only make things worse.
The Constitution meant for Congress to pass bills by a simple majority. But the process has changed over the decades, turning the Senate’s cautious view on legislation into a major obstacle that can only be fixed by reform.
Governing’s humanities scholar in residence lays out four coping strategies for dealing with the troubled state of America. One of them demands something of us for the common good.
For nearly 80 years, a small town in Maryland has played host to presidents, world leaders and the media, taking the glamour and attention in stride.
A new report from the federal government brings urgency to a veteran geologist’s longtime warnings about the crippling of the Colorado River.
The country is long on problems but short on levers that might help lift it out of a quagmire of its own making.
Scholars have always placed two New Deal era federal agencies at the center of the racist policy that steered private mortgage lenders away from Black neighborhoods. However, new research paints a different picture.
In the 1930s, the U.S. became adept at building world-leading infrastructure to support its growing competitive economy and social aspirations. Today, the advantage has slipped in favor of China and other players.
Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and witnessed the removal a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, VA. The events reflect on the country’s changing national identity, symbols and myths - and the cost that comes with them.
They provide nonpartisan advice and expertise on the legislative process. In recent decades, their role has grown more influential, especially with budgetary matters, but not everyone agrees that’s good.
Most Americans associate Labor Day with the end of summer. But the holiday was originally a form of worker activism during a period of rapid industrialization. Solidarity, not barbecue, was the buzzword back then.
The world changed on Aug. 6. The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, triggering a hasty withdrawal and changing the world’s perception of the U.S. while causing Americans to question the state of the national soul.
Thomas Jefferson’s meaning has been up for grabs since he penned the phrase in 1776. The country has proven to be all too comfortable with the ambiguity. Depending how we answer the question, it could help redeem the reputation of the third president or leave us with a lesser Jefferson.
America has had resounding success in telling the story of its birth and rise as a nation. So too has Israel during the 20th century. Now, Palestine must do the same if it wants to succeed, says Middle East scholar Rashid Khalidi.
Are the postmodernists and critical race theorists correct when they say America and some of its founders should appear with an asterisk behind their names from now on? The legacy of the Enlightenment and the American Experiment is in the balance.
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