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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.




  • Elizabeth Hinton: Unearthing the Roots of Black Rebellion

    Elizabeth Hinton's new book argues that anti-police uprisings, commonly called "riots," were frequent and widespread in American Black communities in the 1960s, and should be understood as a political movement against inequality and the inherently abusive nature of the "war on crime." 



  • The Trouble With the Gavin Newsom Recall

    by Ron Brownstein

    California's Recall law can allow a relatively small number of petitioners to initiate a recall of an elected official, and for that official to be removed even if he or she gets more votes than any alternative candidate. This isn't what the Progressive Era architects of the law intended, says San Jose State historian Glen Gendzel. 



  • The World of Edward Said

    by Esmat Elhalaby

    Previous biographies of the Arab scholar and Palestinian advocate Edward Said have either reduced him to his more provocative political statements or treated those politics as a pose. A new biography by Timothy Brennan examines the connections between intellectual life and a global community of activists. 



  • How the Modern NRA Was Born at the Border

    by Sierra Pettengill and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

    Sierra Pettengill's new short documentary "The Rifleman" connects racist violence at the US-Mexico border and the politics of influential NRA leader Harlon Carter, who for decades concealed the fact that he was convicted at age 17 of murder for shooting a Mexican youth in Laredo. She discusses that story with historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.



  • Hamilton, Hip-Hop, and the Law (Review)

    by Stephen Rohde

    Lisa Tucker's edited volume of essays uses the musical "Hamilton" as a lens on several significant legal issues ranging from originalism to employment discrimination. 



  • Death, Taxes, and Ivory Towers

    Universities have long claimed to be engines of local economic development. The tax exemptions many wealthy institutions enjoy bring that claim into question. Historian Davarian Baldwin provides background to a report on Yale and New Haven. 



  • Why Confederate Lies Live On

    by Clint Smith

    Throughout the south, and in the minds of Americans, aesthetics and idealized depictions of valor continue to obscure the fact that the Confederacy fought to maintain a social order based on the ownership of human beings and white supremacy.



  • On the Life and Legacy of Black Journalist Louis Lomax (Review)

    by Joshua Clark Davis

    Louis Lomax was a provocateur, and was comfortable writing critically about both moderate and militant participants in the Black freedom movement; Thomas Aiello's new biography examines the complicated figure in African American journalism. 



  • Academics Address the Filibuster

    Seth Cotlar notes that history doesn't directly inform present action, but since advocates for retaining the filibuster had used many bad historical claims in their arguments it is only fair for historians to weigh in on the debate.