Recent publications

November 2018
Edward Rugemer

  The success of the English colony of Barbados in the seventeenth century, with its lucrative sugar plantations and enslaved African labor, spawned the slave societies of Jamaica in the western Caribbean and South Carolina on the American mainland. These became the most prosperous slave economies...
May 2017
Naomi Lamoreaux

  Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Citizens United and other high-profile cases have sparked passionate disagreement about the proper role of corporations in American democracy. Partisans on both sides have made bold claims, often with little basis in historical facts. Bringing together...
May 2018
David Sorkin

German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786) was one of the most influential thinkers of the Enlightenment. Until now, attention was focused on Mendelssohn’s German works—such as his groundbreaking Jerusalem—which have been duly translated into English. Edward Breuer and David Sorkin...
June 2019
Carlos Eire

  The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila is among the most remarkable accounts ever written of the human encounter with the divine. The Life is not really an autobiography at all, but rather a confession written for inquisitors by a nun whose raptures and mystical claims had aroused suspicion. Despite...
May 2017
Joanne Freeman

  A brash immigrant who rose to become George Washington’s right-hand man. A fierce partisan whose nationalist vision made him Thomas Jefferson’s bitter rival. An unfaithful husband whose commitment to personal honor brought his life to a tragic early end. The amazing success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’...
April 2018
Timothy Snyder

With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy seemed final. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. This faith was misplaced. Authoritarianism returned to Russia, as Putin found fascist ideas that could be used to justify rule by the...
April 2019
Matthew Jacobson

  When 20-year-old Odetta Holmes-classically trained as a vocalist and poised to become “the next Marian Anderson”-veered away from both opera and musical theater in favor of performing politically charged field hollers, prison songs, work songs, and folk tunes before mixed-race audiences in 1950s...
February 2017
Timothy Snyder

  The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or...
May 2018
Noel Lenski

The practice of slavery has been common across a variety of cultures around the globe and throughout history. Despite the multiplicity of slavery’s manifestations, many scholars have used a simple binary to categorize slave-holding groups as either ‘genuine slave societies’ or ‘societies with...
May 2019
Matthew Jacobson

  Between 2009 and 2013, as the nation contemplated the historic election of Barack Obama and endured the effects of the Great Recession, Matthew Frye Jacobson set out with a camera to explore and document what was discernible to the “historian’s eye” during this tumultuous period. Having...