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Livia Gershon

Livia Gershon is a freelance writer in Nashua, New Hampshire. Her writing has appeared in publications including Salon, Aeon Magazine and the Good Men Project. Contact her on Twitter @liviagershon.

NYSE floor traders

Why Do Financial Traders Get Those Huge Bonuses?

Highly placed traders win their big money by essentially taking their firms hostage.
Themis statue

When Do We Care About Ethics Violations?

Experimental evidence suggests that our opinions on ethics depend on who’s committing the violations, and who’s doing the judging.
Columbia graduate student union

Why Grad Students Unionize

The graduate student union movement is a fight by low-paid workers to get more money and better benefits.
Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition logo

Cosmopolitanism (and Racism) at the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition

Seattle's Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition celebrated intercultural connections, but also reduced non-white cultures to quaint attractions.
kindergarteners

The Dangerous Lessons Kindergarteners Learn About Being “Smart”

Kids develop images of themselves as "smart" or "not smart" at very young ages.
meeting

14 Ways to Make Meetings Less Awful

Can anything be done to make meetings more useful and less dull?
Letter on Corpulence William Banting

When Dieting Was Only For Men

Today, we tend to assume dieting is for women, but in the 1860s, it was a masculine pursuit.
Professor in front of class

How One Group of Teachers Defended Academic Freedom

The opposition to the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1950s San Francisco may offer insight on strategies for supporting academic freedom.
Bird's Eye frozen meals

The Evolution of Convenience Food in America

Meal kits signal a change in the way we cook, but this is nothing compared with how frozen food disrupted the American kitchen in the mid-20th century.
Edvard Munch's "Anxiety"

How Anxiety Got Rebranded As Depression

Depression diagnoses have skyrocketed over the past 50 years, but not necessarily as result of underlying changes in our mental health.
Catholic school building

School Choice Since 1800

Donald Trump is putting forward a plan to massively increase the use of public money to pay students’ ...
Soldier reading newspaper

When Did the Media Become a “Watchdog?”

The media changed its coverage over the course of the Vietnam War. But it may not have become more adversarial.
Japanese American school children

Lessons From a Japanese Internment Camp

Trump ally Carl Higbie recently cited Japanese internment camps during World War II as a “precedent” for a proposed registry of Muslims in the U.S.
Gem Chimney ad

Can Advertising Be a Science?

Advertisers have been trying to develop a precise science of advertising for more than a century.
Nixon and JFK

Should Nixon Have Demanded a Recount?

A lot about the 2016 presidential election has been unprecedented, but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen calls for recounts in some states.
toy train

Why We Give Children Toys for Christmas

Giving children toys for Christmas first became a thing in early nineteenth century England.
Civil Rights Marchers

Does Street Protest Matter?

Americans have turned to street protests to achieve their political goals—while critics have warned that this kind of public action won’t change anything.
University of Virginia

Should the Government Pay for a Classical University Education?

Questions about what sorts of higher education the government should pay for are nothing new.
Nineteenth century British periodicals

Nineteenth-Century Clickbait

Online publications that offer clickbait and easy entertainment mirror some of the most popular nineteenth century British magazines.
credit card decals

A Brief History of the Credit Card

For now-ubiquitous consumer credit cards, bad early results had a hidden benefit.
Sheet music from Barnum's Baby Shows

Babies on Display

In the mid- to late nineteenth century, people showed off their infants at baby shows.
Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

The Lost History of Early Muslim Americans

 Islam in America is clearly nothing new.
Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog

Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart, and Whiteness

Martha Stewart has a new show with Snoop Dogg, premiering November 7 on VH1.
voter fraud

Creating the Voter Fraud Myth

Although in-person voter fraud is close to nonexistent, it’s a big concern for many voters.
Andrew Carnegie

The Social Responsibility of American Industrialists

In the 1890s, the first public relations professionals began advising the wealthy on how to use philanthropy to placate the public.