Cinnamomum verum

Plant of the Month: Cinnamon

Of early modern medicinal monopolies and the nature of a "true" product of empire.
Photograph: Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC

Source: Getty

Was the Capitol Attack Part of a New Wave of Terrorism?

A political scientist suggests that the right-wing violence of recent years might be a new current in a longer history.
The end of the "White Man's Rally" on November 1, 1898 in Wilmington, NC

How Racist Cartoons Helped Ignite a Massacre

In 1898, a North Carolina newspaper cartoonist weaponized white fears and tropes of Black predation to stoke a coup d'etat.
Zora Neale Hurston, 1937

Zora Neale Hurston

In a controversial letter, the versatile author expressed frustration with critics of segregation.
A postcard for Ruby Foo's Den in Boston

Have Chinese Restaurants Always Looked “Chinese”?

In some places, that red-and-gold flair might not fly.
Detail from the recently rediscovered Seldon Map from the Bodleian Library (

Plant of the Month: Agarwood

Agarwood has long been prized for its olfactory splendor. Its essential oil is even known as liquid gold today.
People standing in a group looking into the light

Cults on TV!

How stereotypes influence our ideas about what is and isn’t legitimate religion.
An image from the Milgram experiments

The Hidden Meaning of a Notorious Experiment

In Stanley Milgram's studies of obedience, people believed they were giving shocks to others. But did their compliance say much about the Nazis?
Jones Edward Salk

Verbatim: Jonas Salk

Virologist Jonas Salk led the team that developed the breakthrough vaccine for polio. He was also a social critic.
bottom half of a venus flytrap

Plant of the Month: Venus Flytrap

The carnivorous plant, native to the Carolinas, has beguiled botanists and members of the public alike since the eighteenth century.