Mark Twain

Was Mark Twain a Con Man?

A man named Samuel Clemens received funds from the radical abolitionist Boston Vigilance Committee in 1854. It may have been Mark Twain, pulling a prank.
Pioneer Mother sculpture

How to Memorialize Motherhood

Every statue tells a story, often long forgotten. San Francisco's Pioneer Mother Monument in Golden Gate Park was greeted with disappointed by the woman who originated it.
John Clare

What This 19th-Century Poet Knew About the Future

The Anthropocene requires a new history to explain how humans transform the planet. The work of poet John Clare is a good place to start.
Mary Queen of Scots

The Literary Propaganda Campaign Against Mary, Queen of Scots

May of 1568 was a fateful month for Mary, Queen of Scots. She managed to escape prison, but only to be being defeated in battle soon after. Then she made the fateful decision to run to England.
Reconstruction Richmond

Revisiting Reconstruction

Reconstruction is one of the least known periods of American history, and much of what people think they know about may be wrong.
Privatization

The Roots of Privatization

The great turn towards privatization is usually thought to have begun in the 1970s, with Chile's dictatorial regime, but its roots go back further than this.
Charles Boycott

Boycotting Captain Boycott

There were boycotts before the word was coined in the 1880s, but ever since then they've always been called after the experience of Captain Charles Boycott.
Zines

Before Blogs, There Were Zines

Zines haven't completely disappeared in the internet age, but the photocopier-powered DIY publishing phenomenon has certainly entered history by now.
Twilight Zone spiral

Why We Still Love The Twilight Zone

Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone stood out in the "vast wasteland" of television in the early 1960s and still resonates today.
Nero bust: Nero may have poisoned Britannicus, Claudius's son

Poisoning like the Romans

The Romans certainly have a reputation for using poisons, but what do we really know about this form of assassination in the classical era?