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The Roundup Top Ten for May 25, 2023

Why Historians Love Comparing Themselves to the Great Detectives

by Carolyn Eastman

The best point of comparison between Holmes and historian isn't in solving the case but in the struggle to make sense of the facts. 

Hollywood Strikers Carry the Legacy of Ned Ludd

by Gavin Mueller

Our techo-utopian society holds the Luddites in low regard, but their actual history helps explain what's at stake in the screenwriters' strike and any labor conflict where new technology threatens workers' livelihoods. 

Republican Push for More Capital Punishment Echoes Crime Panic of the 1980s

by Duncan Hosie

The Supreme Court decision in 1976 that allowed the states to resume executions coincided with a rise in anxiety over crime and pushed politicians to pledge more executions. 

After Dobbs, Abortion Politics are Straining the Republican Coalition

by Daniel K. Williams

When the party could focus on appointing anti-Roe judges, the Republicans could make abortion a political issue without having to decide matters of policy that inevitably leave parts of their coalition angry and disappointed. Have they lost by winning? 

"Return to Rigor" Isn't the Answer to Restoring Student Engagement

by Kevin Gannon

A post-COVID reaction to the improvisations made on grades, schedules and deadlines supposes that students are suffering from too much flexibility, but a singular focus on rigor won't address the causes of disengagment. 

How to Fight Back Against the Right's "Parents' Rights" Moral Panic

by Jennifer Berkshire

Parents' fears about losing control over their children have been the raw material for potent politically-motivated moral panics for a century and more. But those panics aren't irresistible, because parents everywhere still value public schools as democratic community institutions.  

Trump and DeSantis Two Peas in a White Nationalist Pod

by Clarence Lusane

Any Republican candidate will need to lean in to the politics of white Christian nationalism ascendant on the right; Trump has needed the MAGA movement as much as it's needed him. 

"Salts" are Part of Labor's Fight to Organize. They were once Part of the Antiwar Movement

by Derek Seidman

Taking a job with the covert intention of organizing the workplace is a time-honored labor tactic that's back in the news. Some dedicated activists in the 1960s "salted" the U.S. military in the hopes of building an antiwar movement within the ranks. 

Coca Cola Can't Go Green While Selling Drinks Cold

by Bart Elmore

If the worldwide beverage giant wants to reduce its carbon footprint, it's time for it to reverse its historical commitment to make its drinks available cold—in electric coolers—across the globe.

The Writers' Strike Opens Old Wounds

by Kate Fortmueller

The plot of each sequel of negotiations between the producers and writers has followed a formula of compromise for mutual self-preservation. Technological advances have convinced studio heads that they no longer need the labor of writers enough to keep compromising.