the American civil war

juneteenth

Juneteenth is Trump’s chance to win in November

20 June 2020 2:52 am

Of course June 19 should be a federal holiday. It’s not just the right thing to do: it’s also the…

Walt Whitman’s poetry can change your life

9 May 2020 9:00 am

To describe a new book as ‘eagerly awaited’ is almost unpardonable. Yet Mark Doty’s What is the Grass: Walt Whitman…

fourth turning

Are we now in a Fourth Turning Crisis?

28 April 2020 2:01 am

Back in 1997, William Strauss and Neil Howe released The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy that articulated a roughly 80-year…

The radical history of The Spectator

26 April 2020 5:53 pm

A newspaper – it would be more than 100 years before it became a magazine – calling itself a spectator…

andrew johnson

Lessons from the Johnson impeachment

23 December 2019 2:25 am

The first time Congress impeached a president was in 1868.  The president was Andrew Johnson, a man almost as surprising…

Secession is much closer than we think

American breakup: secession is much closer than we think

5 December 2019 10:34 pm

The United States is ripe for secession. Across the world, established states have divided in two or are staring down…

An agent from the Freedman’s Bureau separates freed slaves from an angry mob at the end of the American civil war. Credit Getty Images

A Shout in the Ruins, by Kevin Powers, reviewed

23 June 2018 9:00 am

We’re in Virginia, in the 1850s. A girl called Emily is tormenting her dog, Champion, and her father’s teenage slave,…

Portrait of Ulysses Grant by Ole Peter Hansen Balling

It’s time to rehabilitate Ulysses S. Grant — scorned hero of the Civil War

16 December 2017 9:00 am

Last year, more than 6,000,000 people visited the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. By contrast, barely 80,000 went to General…

HMS Agamemnon lays the first Atlantic telegraph cable between Trinity Bay and Valentia Island

The 1850s: a dizzying decade of boom and bust

26 March 2016 9:00 am

We can all identify decades in which the world moved forward. Wars are not entirely negative experiences: the social and…

From ambrosia to zabaglione — now with added slavery

13 June 2015 9:00 am

This Oxford Companion ranges from the sweet to the decidedly salty, while being the most politically correct reference book you will ever consult, says Paul Levy

An idealised view of a cotton plantation beside the Mississippi, c. 1880

The turbulent reign of King Cotton: the dark history of one of the world’s most important commodities

10 January 2015 9:00 am

If not for cotton, we would still be wearing wool. To equal current cotton production, we would need seven billion…