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Historians/History


  • The Difference a Day Makes: Robespierre's 9 Thermidor

    by Colin Jones

    The eventful 9 Thermidor (July 27, 1794) is seen as a pivotal day for French Revolution. Colin Jones digs deep into the archival documentation of the day and argues that the day's significance is real but misunderstood. 


  • Why Does Speculation Persist in the Age of Predictive Data?

    by Gayle Rogers

    "During this pandemic, all of us have studied many data points to assess our risks and predict how safe our futures will be under X or Y scenarios. Even when there has been no shortage of data, even when the data have overwhelmed us, the future has never been made certain and clear for us by them. Instead, we have had to become speculators to some degree."


  • Paying People to Get Vaccines is an Old Idea Whose Time has Come Again

    by Margaret DeLacy

    John Haygarth devised a system for rewarding working-class residents of Chester for receiving the risky smallpox inoculation and maintaining social distance afterward. The effort was largely superseded by the more effective and safer Jenner vaccination, but was a foundational public health experiment that pays dividends today.


  • America's First Peaceful (Just Barely!) Transfer of Power

    by Akhil Reed Amar

    While the selection of Thomas Jefferson as the third president in 1801 (after an electoral college deadlock) is touted as a crucial peaceful transfer of presidential power from one party to another, the transition was far more fraught with peril than most realize. 


  • Preserving the Stories of the Second World War

    by Colin Heaton

    Colin Heaton's latest book of oral history (with Anne-Marie Lewis) is based on oral histories he conducted with five significant Allied Airmen from World War II. Here, he discusses his work collecting veterans' stories from all sides of the airborne war and why those stories matter.