why US states have straight borders

Why Are U.S. Borders Straight Lines?

The ever-shifting curve of shoreline and river is no match for the infinite, idealized straight line.
union soldiers disability

The Invisible Struggles of the Civil War’s Veterans

Many Civil War veterans like Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain came out of combat with injuries and lasting disabilities that no one could see.
Boake Carter

Before Rush Limbaugh, There Was Boake Carter

When Boake Carter opened his mouth, he whipped up tempers and tempests. But who was he?
statue of liberty public charge

The Problem with “Public Charge” Rules

Historically, public charge rules have been a threat to immigrants dismissed as too disabled to be full contributors to the country.
Los Angeles concrete

The Lost Paradise of Los Angeles

Los Angeles's bountiful agricultural land was devoured by runaway suburbanization, a process which began long before the post-war era.
1800s Chicago police

A History of Police Violence in Chicago

At the turn of the century, Chicago police killed 307 people, one in eighteen homicides in the city—three times the body count of local gangsters.
Seymour Hersh

Seymour Hersh on the Future of American Journalism

Hersh talks about his career as an investigative reporter, the fate of online media, and feeble responses to Trump.
puritan execution

Puritan True Crime

Cotton Mather and other 17th-century American writers created a genre all their own: Puritan gallows literature, which both terrified and edified.
King Kamehameha I

Hawaii’s Freemason Kings

Why Hawaii's 19th-century kings were so drawn to Freemasonry.
African American life insurance

How Insurance Companies Used Bad Science to Discriminate

In 1881, Prudential announced that insurance policies held by black adults would be worth one-third less than the same plans held by whites.