1984 cover

America’s Unlikely Cold War Weapon

During the Cold War years, the distribution and selection of American books had to change with changing objectives overseas.
Filming make-up tutorial

Can Makeup Be Feminist?

Makeup has become a huge industry. Is it possible to enjoy the practice of beautification and be feminist at the same time?
Public Baths

Public Baths Were Meant to Uplift the Poor

In Progressive-Era New York, a now-forgotten trend of public bathhouses was introduced in order to cleanse the unwashed masses.
Victorian era dog

The Victorian Debate Over Rabies

Rabies began a contentious debate between Victorian pet owners and veterinary experts about how to regulate dog health. Rough.
Urania painting

Before the Civil War, Women Were Welcomed into the Sciences

You know how the story goes. Gender discrimination is baked into science, and women were barred from the ...
Chautauqua

The Forgotten Movement That Changed American Women’s Lives

Chatauquas changed the lives of Midwestern women between 1878 and 1900, setting the stage for new gender roles in the twentieth century.
Lizzie Borden

Why We’re So Obsessed With Lizzie Borden’s 40 Whacks

Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother were brutally murdered, possibly by Lizzie herself, in August 1892. Why are we still dissecting the crime?
Couple Kissing

The Books that Taught the Seventies to Have Sex

What can 1970s sex manuals tell us about the height of the Sexual Revolution? The 1970s was a distinctive sexual decade that’s well worth studying today.
French bread

Pioneers Were America’s Original Artisanal Bakers

Why were cowboys and pioneers so obsessed with their baked goods? A look at the birth of sourdough culture (har har) in the United States.
Graceland facade

Was Graceland Elvis’ Greatest Aesthetic Masterpiece?

When you think of the aesthetic life of Elvis Presley, you probably think of the gaudy glitz of Graceland. But what did the tacky décor really mean?