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public history


  • The Devil and Mary Lease

    by Alan J. Singer

    Populist and feminist agitator Mary Lease advised farmers to "raise less corn and more hell." Her brand of hell-raising, however, included a strong current of antisemitism that needs to be widely known.



  • The Thanksgiving Myth Gets a Deeper Look This Year

    “There was an event that happened in 1621,” Wampanoag historian Linda Coombs said. “But the whole story about what occurred on that first Thanksgiving was a myth created to make white people feel comfortable.” Native activists hope to disrupt the stories of Thanksgiving by questioning public history and by recovering indigenous food practices.



  • Dozens Of Academics Oppose New Controversial Yad Vashem Chair

    Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt is among the academics criticizing the appointment of a right-wing politician to head the Israeli Holocaust memorial and educational center, arguing that his remarks toward Palestinians and Arab Israelis are disqualifying. 


  • Reckoning with Marcus Whitman and the Memorialization of Conquest

    by Cassandra Tate

    The same period that saw the public affirmation of the Confederate Lost Cause myth saw a proliferation of monuments that portrayed the conquest of the indigenous people of the west as virtuous pioneering. The case of Marcus Whitman shows a national reckoning is in order.



  • Alexander Hamilton, Enslaver? New Research Says Yes

    A paper by a researcher at the Schuyler Mansion finds overlooked evidence in letters and Hamilton’s own account books indicating that he bought, sold and personally owned slaves.  



  • The Women Behind the Million Man March

    by Natalie Hopkinson

    Community archives such as the District of Columbia’s are critical interventions into the omissions of history. This one, like others, makes clear that behind every great feat in the public record lies an untold story of the unsung foot soldiers, architects, analysts and fixers — and these are often women.



  • #WEWANTMOREHISTORY

    by Greg Downs, Hilary N. Green, Scott Hancock, and Kate Masur

    At historic sites across the United States on September 26, dozens of participating historians presented evidence to disrupt, correct, or fill out the oversimplified and problematic messages too often communicated by the nation’s memorial landscape.



  • The Desert Keeps Receipts

    by B. Erin Cole

    A meditation on the preservation of the Nevada Test Site in graphic form.



  • Amid the Monument Wars, a Rally for ‘More History’

    “Historians have different views on taking down statues,” said Gregory Downs, a professor at the University of California, Davis, and one of the organizers. “But that debate doesn’t really capture what historians do, which is to bring more history.”