Skip to content

Peter Feuerherd

Peter Feuerherd is a professor of journalism at St. John’s University in New York and a correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.

Truman Capote

How Truman Capote Advanced the New Journalism

In Cold Blood changed the face of journalism. And yet years after its publication, we are still asking: how much of it was factually true?
Newt Gingrich Bill Clinton

The Midterms That Changed America

In 1994, Republicans swept the midterms and Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House. His “Contract with America” was both polarizing and transformative.
Vietnam War television

How TV Transformed the News in 1968

In 1968 violent events at home and aboard were broadcast in color on the television news, creating impacts that may have swayed the presidential election.
Alex Haley Roots

How Alex Haley Popularized Ancestral Searching

Today it's easy to have DNA tested. But before that technology was available, Alex Haley's Roots inspired generations to trace their families' histories.
Ford Pinto

What Made the Pinto Such a Controversial Car

The Pinto became known as the subcompact car that Ford sold while ignoring major safety defects. But was that just a false narrative?
Antigua sugar cane slavery

Did Venereal Disease Lead to Abolition?

Many abolitionists seeking to end slavery in the British West Indies were concerned less with human rights, more with the preponderance of interracial sex.
disco backlash

The Night They Drove Disco Down

On July 12th, 1979, a promotional event turned into a violent fracas, marking the beginning of the end of disco. Some say it was fueled by anti-gay anger.
1919 Chicago White Sox

When “Foreigners” Were Blamed for a Baseball Scandal

In the early 20th century, baseball was a magnet for illegal gambling. But when the Chicago White Sox threw the World Series, Jews became the scapegoats.
Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter and the Meaning of Malaise

In July of 1979, Jimmy Carter delivered a presidential address that was more like a sermon, urging America to reflect upon its meaning and purpose.
Atlantic City casinos

Atlantic City’s Grand Casino Bust

Nearly every American is now within a few hours’ drive of a casino. But critics note that casino gambling has not delivered on its economic promises.
Harry Truman

How Harry Truman Transformed the Vice Presidency

Initially viewed by his critics as a parochial, lackluster Midwestern politician, Harry Truman emerged as a president who oversaw grand historic events.
Kent State

What the Kent State Killings Did to the Student Protest Era

In retrospect, the violent events at Kent State on May 4, 1970 marked the ending of widespread campus protest left over from the turbulent 1960s.
Oklahoma City bombing first responders

The Unexpected Effects of the Oklahoma City Bombing

Divorce rates declined considerably in Oklahoma City during the immediate aftermath of the 1995 bombing there. Social scientists have a few theories as to why.
FDR portait

How FDR’s Presidency Inspired Term Limits

The Founding Fathers considered term limits, but ultimately rejected the idea. It wasn't until FDR's unprecedented four terms that lawmakers reconsidered.
Woman doing yoga on beach

How American Buddhism is Like an Elephant

Researchers see a distinct difference between immigrant Buddhism and those Americans who have embraced its tenets.
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.
News Corporation Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch’s American Legacy

Rupert Murdoch was born in Australia, and first made an international impact in Britain. He thrust himself into the U.S. market with his purchase of the New York Post newspaper in 1974.
Rodney King video

Why Didn’t the Rodney King Video Lead to a Conviction?

The grainy pictures speak for themselves. Or so thought many Americans who watched the video of the March 3rd, 1991, beating of motorist Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers.
Early food stamps

What the History of Food Stamps Reveals

In the early years of food stamps the goal wasn't necessarily to feed America's poor. The idea was to buttress the price of food after the decline in crop prices had created a crisis in rural America.
Woodrow and Edith Wilson

Could the Twenty-Fifth Amendment Spark a National Crisis?

One scholar's opinion: the Twenty-Fifth Amendment is a Pandora's Box.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

How Anti-Catholicism Created an American Saint

Elizabeth Ann Seton is known today as the first American Roman Catholic saint. her road to canonization was no easy path.
Young Ronald Reagan

How Ronald Reagan Was Affected by his Father’s Alcoholism

Robert E. Gilbert argues that the key to understanding Ronald Reagan is knowing that he was the child of an alcoholic.
America Under Communism

How Hollywood Thrived Through the Red Scare

A young Richard Nixon started asking studio executives why they didn't produce anti-Communist movies. The studios quickly responded with anti-Red films.
Concorde jet

The Rise and Fall of the Supersonic Concorde

Once a major advancement in aircraft technology, the Concorde jet was retired in 2003.
Barista Coffee Shop Cafe in Portland Oregon

How Portland Became a Hipster Utopia

How did Portland, Oregon become a hipster haven? While other cities declined in the 60s and 70s, Portland looked at what they did and planned the opposite.