View of the West Front of Monticello and Garden by Jane Braddick, 1825

Building A Better Democracy?

Metaphors of construction have been popular in American history from the start. How come?
Stacked products in open fridge

Food and Class: What’s in the Fridge?

A recent New York Times quiz got us thinking about refrigerators, food, diet, and assumptions about class. Here are 11 stories on the subject.
Adolph Menzel -The Iron Rolling Mill

Life in the Iron Mills as Fiction of the “Close-Outsider Witness”

Rebecca Harding Davis had no firsthand experience of iron mills. Neither does her nameless narrator.
A student standing at a crossroads

Why Everyone Doesn’t Value Choice to the Same Degree

Studies show that college-educated white Americans value having choice -- and yet having too much choice can paralyze and lead to dissatisfaction.
Illustration of a man surrounded by women

A 19th-Century Catfishing Scheme

In the late 1800s, a U.K. scheme lured lonely bachelors with newspaper advertisements supposedly placed by wealthy women.
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.
Children out at night

What Happened to the Night Children?

A hundred years ago, it was quite common for working-class children to roam the streets freely at night.
Serena Williams in 2015

What Sports Reveal about Society

Sociologists find that sports are inextricably intertwined with the people, countries, and politics surrounding them.
Hannah Cullwick

The Bizarre Victorian Diaries of Cullwick and Munby

Arthur Munby was an upper-class man of letters who "collected" working class women, including his servant Hannah Cullwick, whom he married in 1873.
Tube London Blitz

What Life Was Like During the London Blitz

During WWII, 150,000+ people sought shelter in London's Tube stations each night. Over time, the various stations developed their own mini-governments.