Historians in the News

This page features brief excerpts of stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.

  • By the People, for the People, but Not Necessarily Open to the People

    “'It breaks my heart that I can no longer access a building that has meant so much to me during my lifetime,' said Kenneth Bowling, a historian at George Washington University." Emily Badger writes that increased security will also impact the public spaces and parks accessible to the residents of the District.

  • Wealthy Bankers And Businessmen Plotted To Overthrow FDR. A Retired General Foiled It

    by Gillian Brockell

    Major General Smedley Butler (USMC) told Congress in 1933 that a group of business leaders had asked him to lead a coup against FDR. He insisted the plot was serious and credible. Has this episode faded from awareness because it was a hoax, or because Roosevelt and Congress all wanted to conceal how close it came to succeeding?

  • How Fear Took Over the American Suburbs

    Historian Kyle Riismandel's new book “Neighborhood of Fear” examines the cultivation of a white suburban culture of vigilantism and the political exploitation of fear of community change in the late 20th century. 

  • Ex-Friends: Anne Applebaum and the Crisis of Centrist Politics

    Critic David Klion considers the unexamined relationship between the late 20th Century rise of market-oriented liberalism and the 21st century rise of authoritarian nationalism (or, "why so many of her once-close friends have turned out to be fascists").

  • "Sedition": A Complicated History

    Joanne Freeman, Annette Gordon-Reed, Manisha Sinha and Gregory Downs offer insight into the history of the term "sedition," the relationship between speech and deed, and the specific context of white supremacy that has accompanied discussions of sedition since the overthrow of reconstruction. 

  • Review: Was the Constitution a Pro-Slavery Document?

    by Gordon S. Wood

    Gordon Wood says James Oakes's new book examines the dialectical relationship between 19th century interpretations of the Constitution as a pro-slavery and anti-slavery document and argues that that debate steered Lincoln toward a commitment to racial equality as inextricable from abolition.

  • There’s an Alternative to Impeachment Or 25th Amendment for Trump, Historians Say

    by Michael S. Rosenwald

    Eric Foner discusses Section III of the 14th Amendment, which barred those guilty of engaging in or aiding insurrection against the United States from holding elected or civil office in the United States. The section has no provision for removal from office but would prevent Trump's reelection if he were found guilty of insurrection.

  • Don't Compare the Capitol Riot to the "Third World"

    "Lucia Dammert, a Wilson Center Global Fellow and Professor at the University of Santiago of Chile objects to the comparison to the Global South -- adding that the U.S. has played a key role in sparking the turbulence, especially in Latin America."