SOURCE: The New Yorker
Historian's Book on 1970s NBA Shows Racial Politics around Basketball Have Always Been Ugly
by Jay Caspian Kang
The decade saw Black players become dominant in the league and assert their rights as skilled workers. Owners pushed back through the media, smearing the players as entitled drug abusers, as historian Theresa Runstedtler's new book explains.
Keri Leigh Merritt on the Politics of Grief and the Power of Historians' Witness to COVID
Three years since the public became aware of the seriousness of the COVID pandemic, a recent collection of essays turns the skills of historians toward reflection on grief, survival, and connecting understanding of the past to a better collective future.
SOURCE: Jewish Currents
The History and Politics of the Right to Grieve
by Erik Baker
Grief isn't a personal psychological and emotional process; we experience it through the demands a capitalist economy makes on our time, energy and attention. It's time to make bereavement a matter of right, instead of a favor doled out at the whim of your boss.
SOURCE: Public Books
Is Globalization Changing Mexico's Relationship to Death?
by Humberto Beck
Post-revolutionary Mexico embraced cultural commemorations of the dead—Diá de los Muertos—to help conceal the violence of the regime's rise. Now, that "traditional" culture is again being transformed by global cultural appropriation and the escalating violence of global drug trafficking.
Can a "Return to Normal" Happen Without Repairing Sociability?
by Nate Holdren
The push to return to many pre-pandemic modes of working and living is taking place without sufficient provision for mitigating risk, and with seriously damaged bonds of trust and mutual support; people are again in proximity to each other, but far from being together.
Arctic Explorer, Nazi-Fighter, Iconoclast: Peter Freuchen's Case for "Most Interesting Man in the World"
by Reid Mitenbuler
A biographer contents that an unlikely celebrity from the early twentieth century should inspire people today to take risks and embrace a humanism that doesn't depend on loyalty to party or ideology. While this without-a-net kind of public discussion is increasingly rare today, it's what makes people interesting.
The Case For Calling the Language "American"
by Ilan Stavans
The history of pragmatic adaptation that built the American form of English is reflected in its present status as the world's second language. It's not jingoistic, just accurate, to declare the particularity of the American tongue.
SOURCE: The Atlantic
The Case for Blondie as the Sound of the 70s
by Kevin Dettmar
While the decade's pop scene was undeniably eclectic, there's an argument to be made that the New York group was at the center of the most lasting trends of the 1970s.
SOURCE: Nursing Clio
Masculinity and Trauma in War and Football
by Sarah Handley-Cousins
Sports have been cast as a (relatively) peaceful way of inculcating a set of masculine virtues otherwise associated with war. But the experience of injury and grief will continue to confound the rules of manhood—and football fans and citizens should pay attention.
SOURCE: New Criterion
Cheers... to Drinking Songs
by R. Eric Tippin
Drinking songs have been pervasive in human history, but profoundly divided between those framing drink as a divine gift ordered by ritual and those concerned with a party.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal
Review: How Fitness Joined the Middle-Class Mainstream
by Katrina Gulliver
Natalia Mehlman Petrzela's "Fit Nation" reviews the move of exercise from the fringe to the mainstream, while examining the ways fitness culture reflects social divisions in America.
SOURCE: New York Times
You Can't Unsee the Truth About Cars
by Andrew Ross and Julie Livingston
Despite cultural mythology, cars are actually un-freedom machines, and drivers of inequality, particularly for racial minorities. It's a mistake for the Biden administration's infrastructure agenda to further enshrine the car as the dominant means of mobility.
The History of Fashion's Turn to Embracing Fakery
Fashion historians Valerie Steele and Einav Rabinovitch-Fox explain the historic push and pull between designers and copycats, and how recent trends have blurred the lines between authenticity and fakeness and exclusivity and popular style.
SOURCE: The Atlantic
What's the Path from Crunchy Counterculture to Alt-Right?
by Kathleen Belew
Observers have tracked a growing affinity between online adherents of natural lifestyle and alternative medicine communities and the antigovernment and white supremacist movements. Thinking about the connections disrupts our idea of a linear spectrum of political affinity from "left" to "right."
SOURCE: The Nation
From Hot Yoga to Tae Bo: How American Fitness Trends Went Global
by Natalia Mehlman Petrzela
The cultural disaffections of the affluent and emergent globalization made a host of exotic exercise trends big business in the 1970s and afterward.
SOURCE: Boston Review
Lunchtime in Italy: Work, Time and Civil Society
by Jonathan Levy
The Italian lunchtime insists that time be organized around communal rituals and sustenance, not work. Does the utter foreignness of this attitude in America help explain the current national derangement?
SOURCE: New York Magazine
How Gael Greene Reinvented the Restaurant Critic
Greene wrote about restaurants as arenas for the display of status and a part of the city's culture, the way that the dining public did.
SOURCE: The Baffler
Who Still Needs the Carnivalesque?
by Ed Simon
Despite its repeated theorization, the political meaning of carnivals and the social inversions they temporarily enable remains hotly debated.
SOURCE: The Atlantic
The Shift from Norms to Boundaries Explains the Problem of TMI
"Too Much Information" is a social error that arises from the need for individuals to determine their own boundaries and match their expression to others'. But longing for firmer rules of etiquette should be tempered by understanding how those rules were based in ideas about whose voices should be heard.
SOURCE: Washington Post
Pickup Trucks: Less Needed for Work, More Needed to Signal Masculinity?
Historian Mark Metzler Sawin explains why pickup trucks are the top-selling vehicles in America, even as the country is more urbanized and less engaged with farm and manual labor than ever before.
- Chair of Florida Charter School Board on Firing of Principal: About Policy, Not David Statue
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- The Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
- New Books Force Consideration of Reconstruction's End from Black Perspective
- Excerpt: How Apartheid South Africa Tried to Create a Libertarian Utopia
- Historian's Book on 1970s NBA Shows Racial Politics around Basketball Have Always Been Ugly
- Kendi: "Anti-woke" Part of Backlash Against Antiracist Protest Movements
- Monica Muñoz Martinez Honored for Truth-Telling in Texas History