Portrait of William Blake, 1807

William Blake, Radical Abolitionist

Blake’s works offer an alternative to the failures of the Enlightenment, which couldn’t muster a consistent argument for abolition.
Empress Joséphine holding a Jacquemus Mini Le Chiquito handbag

A Mini History of the Tiny Purse

The purse has always been political, a reflection of changing economic realities and gender roles.
Shipping Boat at Sea

What Is a Tariff? An Economist Explains

A global trade war seems well underway as China and the U.S. exchange targeted tariff attacks. An economist explains what they are.

The Quantum Random Number Generator

It’s real. And it will use quantum entanglement to generate true mathematical randomness. Here’s why that matters.
George Orwell

Think Again

Rereading W.H. Auden, George Orwell, and James Baldwin in times of crisis.
A hand holding a magnifying glass looking at pages with different fonts

The Font Detectives

For typography experts like Thomas Phinney, the history of the printed word is crucial to weeding out fraud.
Rossia macrosoma, Stout Bobtail Squid

The Delicate Science-Art of the Blaschka Invertebrate Collection

The Cornell Collection of Blaschka Invertebrate Models includes hundreds of glass models of sea creatures, making it both a teaching tool and a metaphor.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby, 2013

What The Great Gatsby Reveals About The Jazz Age

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel embraced jazz, while also falling prey to the racist caricatures associated with it.
A black and white image of a person trapped behind glass

How YouTube Is Shaping the Future of Work

Americans expect our jobs to provide us with not just money but fulfillment. For many, YouTube represents exactly that promise.