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political history


  • Lessons from the 18th Century Dutch Republic

    by Matthijs Tieleman

    The history of the Dutch Republic demonstrates that polarization can gradually destroy a country from within and can easily be exploited by foreign actors. The embrace of political pluralism by every citizen is the key antidote to the rot of polarization.



  • The Deep Roots of Disdain for Black Political Leaders

    by Carole Emberton

    From Thomas Jefferson's writings, through the proslavery argument of the middle of the 19th century, the overthrow of Reconstruction, and the Jim Crow era, American politics has been influenced by the racist idea that Black people were incapable of exercising leadership in a democracy.



  • Disdain for the Less Educated Is the Last Acceptable Prejudice

    by Michael J. Sandel

    Joe Biden has a secret weapon in his bid for the presidency: He is the first Democratic nominee in 36 years without a degree from an Ivy League university. His campaign may test the pervasive belief that elite academic credentials are a necessity to govern.



  • What We Don't Understand About Fascism

    by Victoria de Grazia

    It is less useful to draw comparisons between today's right-wing politics and past fascist parties than it is to understand how broad crisis in society resembles the conditions from which fascism arose. 


  • The Republican Party’s Five Traps

    by Thomas E. Patterson

    Thomas Patterson's new book, excerpted here, evaluates the political traps the Republican Party has set for itself and considers the consequences for the nation if the party implodes. 



  • Fascism: A Concern

    Is the application of "fascism" to describe today's politics accurate or useful? Historians including Samuel Moyn, Ruth Ben-Ghiat, David A. Bell, and Heather Ann Thompson add perspective.