A drawing of the Astor Place Riot, 1849, by Charles M. Jenckes

When an Argument Over Macbeth Incited a Bloody Riot

On May 10th, 1849, protestors rioted at Astor Place Opera House, leading to the deadliest civic insurrection in American history up to that time.
A cowboy in the western United States, between 1898 and 1905

Go West, You Nervous Men

The "Rest Cure" for women is notorious. But the "West Cure" for men, though little known today, is a fundamental part of American mythology.
Whitman at about fifty

Should Walt Whitman Be #Cancelled?

Black America talks back to "The Good Gray Poet" at 200.
Whaling painting

Did North America’s Longest Painting Inspire Moby-Dick?

Herman Melville likely saw the panorama “Whaling Voyage,” which records the sinking of the whaler Essex, while staying in Boston in 1849.
Black Panther Double Consciousness

Black Panther and Double-Consciousness

Double identity, present in both Marvel's Black Panther and in the critical race theory of double-consciousness, enables black American viewers to see their two identities played out on screen.
Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany

Frederick Douglass’s Feud Over Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Journalist, physician, and committed black nationalist Martin Delany took Frederick Douglass to task over, among other things, Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
Thoreau Sherlock Holmes

The Truth About Sherlock Holmes: He’s Actually Henry David Thoreau

A tongue in cheek comparison between the British fictional sleuth and the American Transcendentalist author, just because.
Victoria wedding

A Natural History of the Wedding Dress

The history of the wedding dress is shorter than the history of weddings, and even shorter still than the history of marriage.
Bob Dylan and Herman Melville

What Herman Melville Can Teach Bob Dylan about Plagiarism

Bob Dylan delivered his Nobel Prize lecture on June 4, just days before a deadline that would have ...
botticelli primavera

Ten Favorite Love Poems

Love poems by Pablo Neruda, Joyce Carol Oates, Kenneth Koch, Willie Perdomo, Robert Penn Warren, Edith Wharton, and more.