Vast early America

There is no American history without the histories of Indigenous and enslaved peoples. And this past has consequences today Karin Wulf is executive director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and professor of history at William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Edited bySam Haselby Nations need history; it is a key genre for explaining the status quo. Modern nations and modern historical practices in the West developed over the same centuries, so the effort to harness the latter to the former is no surprise. Yet whether about the removal of statues, the veracity of journalism and … Continue reading Vast early America

The Woman Who Saved the Hawks: Redeeming an Overlooked Pioneer of Conservation

The story of the countercultural courage and persistence that shaped the modern ecological conscience. BY MARIA POPOVA It is 1928 and you are walking in Central Park, saxophone and wren song in the April air, when you spot her beneath the colossal leafing elm with her binoculars. You mistake her for another pearled Upper East Side lady who has taken to birding in the privileged boredom of her middle age. And who could blame you? In some obvious ways — polished and traveled, born into a wealthy New York family to a British father whose first cousin was Charles Dickens … Continue reading The Woman Who Saved the Hawks: Redeeming an Overlooked Pioneer of Conservation

People gave up on flu pandemic measures a century ago when they tired of them – and paid a price

Author J. Alexander Navarro Assistant Director of the Center for the History of Medicine, University of Michigan State and local officials enact a slate of social-distancing measures, gathering bans, closure orders and mask mandates in an effort to stem the tide of cases and deaths. The public responds with widespread compliance mixed with more than a hint of grumbling, pushback and even outright defiance. As the days turn into weeks turn into months, the strictures become harder to tolerate. Theater and dance hall owners complain about their financial losses. Clergy bemoan church closures while offices, factories and in some cases even saloons … Continue reading People gave up on flu pandemic measures a century ago when they tired of them – and paid a price

Why Phoenix may be uninhabitable by the end of this century

Factors like climate change and the destruction of urban foliage are causing cities like Phoenix to overheat By MATTHEW ROZSA “There will come a day when the temperature won’t fall below 100 degrees in Phoenix during the nighttime,” Dr. Andrew Ross, a professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University who wrote “Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City,” told Salon. “That will be a threshold of some kind.” The American Southwest has long been a refuge for those seeking the health benefits of warm, dry air and sunny days. But too much of a good thing is not a good thing … Continue reading Why Phoenix may be uninhabitable by the end of this century

CAN WE SAVE RESTAURANTS IN 2021?

by Eddie Kim  These three resilient, relentlessly optimistic restaurateurs certainly think so. But they also believe it will take bold, urgent action from the government to make it happen. When my parents bought a restaurant five years ago, the intention was never to turn it into something truly great. Auntie Pasto’s is a decent red-sauce Italian joint that I ate at once a month while growing up in suburban Hawaii, and I was surprised to hear that they had bought it in semi-retirement after selling off a sushi franchise they had built over the previous 15 years. They wouldn’t have to be so hands-on this … Continue reading CAN WE SAVE RESTAURANTS IN 2021?

Struth’s unpeopled photos evoke the loneliness of urban life

By Richard Demingis a poet, art critic, and theorist. He is a senior lecturer in English and director of creative writing at Yale University. He is the author of the poetry collections Let’s Not Call It Consequence (2008) and Day for Night (2016) and the books Listening on All Sides: Toward an Emersonian Ethics of Reading (2008), Art of the Ordinary: the Everyday Domain of Art, Film, Literature, and Philosophy (2018) and Touch of Evil (2020). Edited by Marina Benjamin I’m making my way across lower Manhattan on an early May afternoon, my mask snug and my glasses quickly fogging so the whole city looks hazy and indistinct. Behind me, a beer … Continue reading Struth’s unpeopled photos evoke the loneliness of urban life

See America’s National Parks—Before They Were National Parks

Landscape photography like this helped create the National Park system. BY WINNIE LEE  In 1861, photographer Carleton E. Watkins lugged his custom-made oversized camera, designed to shoot on unusually large glass plate negatives, measuring 18 by 22 inches, to Yosemite in California. It was roughly 2,000 pounds of photography equipment that went with him, on the backs of mules, through the challenging terrain. His “mammoth” photos, using a difficult wet-collodion process, of such wonders as El Capitan, Mariposa Grove, and Cathedral Rocks, revealed an exquisite bit of Eden to viewers, especially those on the East Coast. “These earliest photographs of Yosemite resulted … Continue reading See America’s National Parks—Before They Were National Parks