Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%22A_Thrilling_Hallowe%27en.%22_(Three_black_cats_flying_through_the_air_with_Jack-o-lanterns).jpg

Halloween Stories

Why are Victorians the default haunted house, what do ghosts have to do with the imagination, and why do we like to be scared?
An advertisement for song sharks in Park's Floral Magazine, 1913

We’re Going to Need a Bigger Note

Song sharks have been a problem for aspiring lyricists nearly as long as there’s been a music industry.
Olivier salad in a red plate on the table

The USSR’s “Invisible Cuisine”

Unofficial cookbooks—handwritten recipes passed from kitchen to kitchen—provided their owners with social and cultural capital within the Soviet system.
U.S. soldiers reading books in a YMCA library

Why Learn to Read?

The value placed on literacy has changed over time, shifting from a nineteenth-century moral imperative to a twentieth-century production necessity.
Portrait of Edna St. Vincent Millay, c. 1914-1915

The Poetry Contest Edna St. Vincent Millay Lost

Though her writing career opened in an inauspicious manner, Edna St. Vincent Millay became the first woman to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
A poster used in Japan to attract immigrants to Brazil. It reads: "Let's go to South America (Brazil highlighted) with families."

Asian South America

The migration of Asian people—from India, from China, from Japan—to South America and the Caribbean began as early as the sixteenth century.
An advertisement by the Partnership for a Drug Free America

The Story Behind “This is Your Brain on Drugs”

How did the campaign behind the Partnership for a Drug Free America’s iconic commercials develop, and why were its products so memorable?
A banquet to HH Ranjit Nawanagar in India, 1907

Gender, Meat-Eating, and British Colonialism

As the power of the East India Company grew, British writers embraced the idea that the (alleged) passiveness of Indians was due in part to vegetarianism.
Portrait of a baby in a light coloured stroller

The Imperative to Buy the Best Stroller

The baby stroller is only the most visible symbol of the ethos of consumer capitalism that saturates American pregnancy and parenthood.
Reverse Freedom Riders in Hyannis, MA in 1962

The Reverse Freedom Rides

The White Citizens’ Councils used the transportation of Black Americans to Northern states as a way to embarrass liberal critics and rally segregationists.