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The Future in Context

They once numbered in the thousands. Now, only a fraction are left, mostly abandoned and falling apart. But Kathy Wilner is determined to find every remaining one-room school in her state.
Our resident humanities scholar is spending July leading tour groups that retrace the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It is an annual summer ritual, and one that has him questioning where the trail actually begins.
Assessing a terribly broken system, a veteran analyst details the conflicting dynamics and possible solutions to America's illegal immigration dilemma.
Confronting their harsh legacy, the United States has taken steps to establish a Native American Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It’s a move that’s long overdue.
Now a federal holiday, its roots are based in local, grass-roots celebrations dating back to the Civil War. Once nearly forgotten, the rebirth of Juneteenth speaks to America’s ongoing struggle for racial equality.
The congressional House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol held its first prime-time televised hearing on Thursday evening. Dismissed by critics as show trials, these hearings may test the medium’s ability to capture the nation’s attention.
Competing political narratives about gun violence have not satisfied the yearning for justice after the Uvalde tragedy. Our resident humanities scholar offers four propositions to help us think through a uniquely American and polarizing problem.
With primary season underway, our resident historian examines the origins and role of primary elections in American politics and the intensification of American partisanship.
George Washington and John Adams were no fans of the Boston Tea Party, but the disruptive protest has endured as a prime example of how some Americans will express their desire for change.
A leading observer reminds us that the war is also a cultural and religious one. He cautions the U.S. not to underestimate the risk it’s taking nor overestimate its support from the international community.
During his presidency, Roosevelt did more to conserve America’s natural resources and its places of special beauty than any other president. He convened state executives to aid in the cause, which led him to create the NGA.
Public institutions suffer when partisan drama is televised, streamed or leaked. Ill-considered legislation has to be cleaned up by the courts; confirmation processes turn dirty; and selective leaking is used to flip narrow majorities.
Elon Musk’s $44 billion deal to buy Twitter roiled the Internet despite his claims to be acting in the interests of free speech and transparency. An author argues that crowd-sourcing wisdom is a poor substitute for old-school expertise in the search for truth.
As the 50th anniversary of the break-in approaches, a recent book charts the transformation of the Nixon administration’s bungled burglary to a redefinition of America’s relationship with its leaders and institutions.
Weeks after the U.S. and the G7 countries weaponized the global financial system to impose their harshest-ever sanctions on Russia, fissures are becoming apparent. Countries impose but often backpedal on sanctions against bad actors for a simple reason — a reluctance to go to war.
The elevation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the nation’s highest court will not only make history but help shape America’s future, one case at a time.
Defending an "unteachable" classic of American literature has become the life’s work of a Twain scholar, costing him professionally and personally.
After a stormy confirmation process characterized by partisan recriminations in the U.S. Senate, Ketanji Brown Jackson appears to be set to take her seat on the Supreme Court. More than three dozen others have been denied over the last 235 years.
In the 19th century, Franconia Notch, a popular tourist site known for its pristine beauty, came under threat from the logging industry. A coalition of women’s groups started a grass-roots campaign to conserve the region.
Just 51 years old, nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, if confirmed, would join a growing list of relatively young justices who are likely to serve for much longer than was anticipated when lifetime appointments were first codified.
Congress’ “advice and consent” to the president on appointments to the judiciary has become sharply partisan — and the numbers prove it.
Our resident historian explores three things – court packing, judicial review and meeting the expectations of the appointing presidents – that are not what you thought they were.
The radicalization of a congressional clerk in the 1800s and the introduction of the telegraph set a young country on a new trajectory.
The war in Ukraine has triggered an outpouring of sympathy for the plight of the people under attack, but also a surprising amount of isolationist sentiment. It’s not the first time this has happened.
In 1788, Thomas Jefferson hastily wrote an account of his travels in Europe for two friends. That obscure guide sent a Virginia attorney on a journey that connects past and present in unexpected ways.
Concrete, steel and turbines play an outsize role in the past and future of water in western states.
In 1917 the Supreme Court knocked down a discriminatory land use practice in Louisville, Ky. While the case made overt zoning segregation illegal, state and local government continued to find alternative ways to divide communities along racial lines.
Without Henry, there might not have been a United States. But the central role this sometimes forgotten Founding Father played in America’s Revolution and design of the young republic has been largely overlooked.
The city is no longer America’s steeltown. But how did it become a leader in health care? Author Gabriel Winant explains how economic realities allowed this service industry to emerge from the region’s old labor movement.
Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson and the struggle for a more perfect union.
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