Politics and History

Angry person

Psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett runs a lab where she studies emotions and says that if you pay attention, everyday anger can be a source of wisdom.More

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Writer Pankaj Mishra traces the roots of contemporary political rage back to a surprising source: the 18th century Enlightenment.  More

Bullhorn

 Cleve Jones was a young activist and Harvey Milk’s protege, the man who would later create the AIDS Memorial Quilt.  What he remembers about that time is how the gay community channeled anger and grief into a night he’ll never forget.More

Boy screaming

Could we, as a nation, be addicted to anger? That’s what science fiction writer and astrophysicist David Brin thinks. In fact, he wrote an open letter to addiction researchers and psychologists, asking them to investigate America’s epidemic of self-righteous indignation.More

Black Lives Matter sign

Anger can separate us into partisan camps, but it can also inspire people to work together to achieve amazing things. Michael Eric Dyson knows this firsthand.More

"Prayers for the Stolen" by Jennifer Clement

The recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature recommends Jennifer Clement's novel about teenage girls surviving the violence of cartel-controlled Mexican border villages in "Prayers for the Stolen."More

John Carlos, Tommie Smith, and Peter Norman at the 1968 Olympic games.

Before "taking a knee," there was the fist. More

Lone tree

Laird Hunt has written what is really three stories wrapped around each other: A famous lynching in Marion, the story of a song about it, “Strange Fruit,” and a new novel, which begins on that terrible day. More

Radium Girls memorial

How painting radium on watches and instrument dials killed more than 50 young women working in Ottawa, Illinois.More

In the shadows, reflecting on violence.

In 2011, Mac McClelland was reporting on reconstruction in Haiti when she witnessed another woman's traumatic flashback. Just seeing the horror in that woman's face was enough to traumatize Mac.More

reflecting on a bus

Journalist Jim Rendon tells producer Rehman Tungekar that resilence in the face of trauma is actually quite common.More

Touching glass in a rainstorm

Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk is studying the healing power of helping people with post traumatic stress disorder focus less on telling their stories, and more on how their stories feel — how they sound, look, or smell.More

Mark Art, Not War

Is war inevitable? Leymah Gbowee loudly and strongly says no. And she’s got proof.More

A war plane flies.

The title of political scientist Benjamin Ginsberg's book says it all, “The Worth of War.” In it, he argues that war has greatly benefited civilization.More

Joao Silva/The New York Times/Redux. From War is Beautiful by David Shields, published by powerHouse Books.

David Shields says the New York Times is complicit in romanticizing war through imagery.More

dogtags

Revenge is a major theme in Elliot Ackerman’s debut novel “Green on Blue.” The novel is told from the point-of-view of an Afghan boy named Aziz who’s seeking to avenge his brother Ali.More

Traveling into the phone

Doug Rushkoff believes personal technology is having an insidious effect on our relationship with time. He calls it “present shock.”More

Jaquet Droz automatons

Androids may seem like a modern idea, but there were life-size androids in the 18th century — beautiful robot women who could look around and even play the harpsichord. Historian Heidi Voskuhl tells this remarkable story.More

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