Xi Jinping leader step down

How To Make a Leader Step Down

President Xi Jinping of China recently managed to abolish term limits. What compels some leaders to discard the rules of the very systems that led them to power?
Alaskan woman and child

Alaska’s Unique Civil Rights Struggle

A generation before Rosa Parks, a young Eskimo-American woman was arrested for sitting in the "whites only" section of a Nome, Alaska move theater.
Stalin poster

What Do We Really Know About Joseph Stalin?

It took three more decades of Soviet rule before the archives dealing with Stalin and his times could be explored. And then the doors were shut again.
Gerrymandering origins

Is Gerrymandering to Blame for Our Polarized Politics?

Gerrymandering is the process by which districts for the House of Representatives are drawn so that one party has a distinct election advantage.
Nuns and cows

How Frontier Nuns Challenged Gender Norms

Scholars Carol K. Coburn and Martha Smith write that nuns were an important part of westward expansion—and in Colorado, nuns quickly learned how to use their gender to their advantage.
Iskander Miscellany

The Ultimate Bespoke Manuscript

In The Miscellany of Iskandar Sultan, sections of text stack on top of one another, interlaced like fretwork. Bursts of flowers and tangles of vines fill the empty spaces.
Beatles hair 1963

The High School Hair Wars of the 1960s

Following the introduction of the mop top by the Beatles, the battle over how long school boys could wear their hair in the 1960s and 1970s went to the courts again and again.
Thames tunnel walk

How the Thames Tunnel Revealed London’s Class Divide

The Thames Tunnel, the world's first underwater tunnel, is still in use 175 years after its long-delayed opening, but you can't shop there anymore.
Alexander The Great mosaic

The Other Alexander the Great

Stories emerged in the centuries after Alexander the Great’s death. They revolved around Alexander's failures, not his victories. The portrait that emerges is strangely poignant.
portrait of abolitionist James Hinds, 1860s

The White Carpetbagger Who Died Trying to Protect African-Americans’ Civil Rights

James Hinds was assassinated for his beliefs, and today is largely forgotten. He stood up for African-American civil rights during the Reconstruction, provoking the KKK's ire.