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Essay/History

Drugs du jour

LSD in the ’60s; ecstasy in the ’80s; ‘smart’ drugs today: how we get high reflects the desires and fears of our times

Cody Delistraty

Idea/Politics & Government

Sovereignty can be bought and sold like a commodity

Steven Press

Video/History

A day in the life of Auschwitz today is a mix of history, tourism and prayer

7 minutes

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Idea/Demography & Migration

How refugees have the power to change the society they join

Alejandra Dubcovsky

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Idea/War & Conflict

The Syrian seed bank that keeps going despite the war

Courtney Fullilove

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Idea/Race

Why the Nazis studied American race laws for inspiration

James Q Whitman

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Essay/History

Revolutionary heroes

If the sultan of Mysore had had a bit more luck, George Washington might be known as the Haider Ali of North America

Blake Smith

Video/Demography & Migration

How we became more than 7 billion – humanity’s population explosion, visualised

6 minutes

Idea/History

From the king’s touch to the princess’ hug: on magical royalty

Anna Whitelock

Essay/Demography & Migration

The great settling down

The idea that American life is increasingly transient and uprooted is a myth: people are moving less, but worrying more

Claude S Fischer

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Idea/Economics

Many mistrust banks, but why you mistrust banks says a lot

Erika Vause

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Essay/History

Atlantic freedoms

Haiti, not the US or France, was where the assertion of human rights reached its defining climax in the Age of Revolution

Laurent Dubois

Video/Space Exploration

Think pollution is just an on-Earth problem? Anthropocene junk is in space too

2 minutes

Essay/Deep Time

Laws or comets?

Does history unfold randomly and by chance, or are there underlying patterns and deep connections between its parts?

Walter Alvarez

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Idea/History

Why historians would make bad policy advisers

Neville Morley

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Idea/History

In the 1850s, the future of American slavery seemed bright

Matthew Karp

Video/Art

An artist finds rich pickings in the sprawling mundanity of a Walmart store

4 minutes

Essay/Childhood & Adolescence

The end of adolescence

In the 20th century it offered a bridge from the innocence of childhood to the responsibilities of adult life. Not any more

Paula S Fass

Video/Politics & Government

What happens when a country has its first true democratic election?

12 minutes

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Essay/Stories & Literature

Bookish fools

The book has always been a sign of status and refinement; a declaration of self-worth – even for those who hate to read

Frank Furedi

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Essay/History

Guns, empires and Indians

Multilateral imperial politics triggered an indigenous arms race and led to the violent transformation of Native America

David J Silverman

Idea/Politics & Government

American exceptionalism, from Stalin with love

Ian Tyrrell

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Essay/History

American genesis

In treating the nation’s founders as holy relics, America forgets they were revolutionaries and risk-takers

Caroline Winterer

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Idea/History

Before Indiana Jones came Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron

Blake Smith

Video/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

How the return of just 66 wolves rejuvenated Yellowstone’s entire ecosystem

5 minutes

Idea/History

America’s Declaration of Independence was pro-immigrant

Steven Pincus

Video/Social Psychology

How gang violence is American violence: it shows alienation at all social levels

5 minutes

Video/Politics & Government

In the US, linking guns to owners is, by design, a convoluted and absurd process

7 minutes

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Idea/History of Technology

How Cold War rivalry helped launch the Chinese computer

Thomas S Mullaney

Video/Art

The flickering ray of hope in the stark loneliness of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks

8 minutes