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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.

Chicago teachers striking

The Rise of Teachers’ Unions

Teachers' unions have been an important force in America since the 1950s.
Mary Cassatt's The Young Mother

Maternity, #Meternity, and the Military

Maternity leave as we know it today may have its origins in turn-of-the-century French militarism.
anti-Mormon illustration

How Victorian Writers Eroticized Mormons

Victorian anti-Mormonism meant 19th-century Americans were both fascinated and frightened by Mormons' marriage and sexual practices.
Socialists in Union Square, N.Y.C. May 1, 1912

How Labor Lost May Day

At the turn of the century, May 1 was a time for radical labor protests. During WWI, May Day was replaced by the more nationalistic Labor Day.
Picture of Gunnery Camp, the first organized American summer camp, 1861

Summer Camp Has Always Been About Escaping Modern Life

The first summer camps presented themselves as an natural alternative to encroaching industrial society.
1871 Life insurance policy

Putting a Price on a Life

If you have a life insurance policy, that means your insurance company pays your beneficiaries when you die, ...
Tax frustrations

A Brief History of the Income Tax

The significance of the date April 15 is not lost on anyone in the modern United States. But ...
University of Pennsylvania students locate books on the stacks at the new Charles Patterson Van Pelt Library in 1962. (Photo by Authenticated News/Archive Photos)

Do Libraries Still Matter?

With the rise of digital search tools, is there a future for big buildings filled with books and journals? Respondents to an Ithaka S + R survey say yes.
Donald Trump makes a campaign stop at Muscatine Iowa on 1/24/2016

Donald Trump and “Whiteness”

Donald Trump's controversial racial rhetoric and mostly white supporters lead us to ask what whiteness means to white people?
Fast Food Strikes, NYC, July 2013

The Long Prelude to the Fight for 15

Arguments in support of the minimum wage over the last century have ranged from social justice to increased worker efficiency.
Richard Rummell's iconic landscape watercolor view of Harvard University, 1906.

How Harvard Became Harvard

Older than the nation, Harvard has always been elite, but it was only in the 19th Century that it became the school of the Boston ruling class.

The Secret to Managing Millennials

Wondering how to manage a workplace full of Millennials? Turns out it's not so different from managing any age workers.
Single mother coloring with her daughter.

Single Parenting And Welfare

What does the research say about welfare encouraging single parenting, as conservative critics have long charged? 
Multilingual conversation.

Is Bilingual Education Returning?

The U.S. Department of Education now recognizes biliteracy as a mark of educational excellence, which may mean that bilingual education is coming back.

Who Doesn’t Like National Parks?

National parks and monuments have always been controversial, opposed by ranchers, farmers, resource, extractors, and small government conservatives. 
Children playing in the schoolyard during recess.

Recess Matters

As schools cut recess from the curriculum, more and more research suggests that it's a vital part of a child's day.
Garden view "The House of the Seven Gables", Salem, Mass. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Garden view "The House of the Seven Gables", Salem, Mass." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 10, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-9dc0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

A Garden of One’s Own

As the suburbs emerged in the 19th century, middle-class women, barred from waged labor, took to their gardens to remain productive. 
Mogadishu,Somalia-April, 30, 2013 :A general view of the tent camp where thousands of Somali immigrants on April 30, 2013, in Mogadishu,Somalia.

The Power of Tent City Politics

How demonstrators can use their collective strength to force local governments to address a set of grievances. 
Graduates during commencement.

Does More Education Mean Higher Pay?

High school graduation rates sky-rocketed in the 1930s, but as more educated people flooded the job market, pay and opportunities plateaued. 
Leading the Klu Klux Klan parade which was held in Washington, D.C.

The Ku Klux Klan Used to Be Big Business

At the height of its business operations, in 1923, the Klu Klux Klan was worth roughly $12 million dollars. 
One of the Proximity Cotton Mill sewing classes. Greensboro, N. C.

How 19th Century Cotton Mills Influenced Workplace Gender Roles

The spinners' union made it nearly impossible for women to secure reliable work in the cotton mills, instituting their proper role in the workplace.
Port Gibson, Mississippi, August 1940.

Racism and American Exceptionalism

America's domestic policies have been motivated by racist policies that began even before the anti-welfare arguments of the Reagan era. 
Marshall "Major" Taylor

The Moral Threat of Bicycles in the 1890s

The bicycle craze of the 19th century, in which both men and women participated, was seen as a moral affront by church leaders. 
Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia testifies before the House Judiciary Committee's Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee on Capitol Hill May 20, 2010 in Washington, DC.

How Supreme Court Nominations Became Political Battles

The battle to secure Supreme Court justices has a long and contentious history. 

Before Flint: How Americans Chose Lead Poisoning

The United States, unlike other Western nations, did not take a firm stance on lead-based products until much later--despite knowing the health risks.