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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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Sam Haselby
Senior Editor, Aeon

Sam is a senior editor at Aeon and a historian. He is the author of The Origins of American Religious Nationalism (paperback, 2016) and can be found on Twitter @HaselbySam

Essays
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Conversations
405
Essay/History
American secular

The founding moment of the United States brought a society newly freed from religion. What went wrong?

Sam Haselby

Edited by Sam Haselby

Essay/History
The other side of the curtain

During the Cold War, US propagandists worked to provide a counterweight to Communist media, but truth eluded them all

Melissa Feinberg

Essay/Subcultures
Touching the sky

At their best, daredevils rival philosophers and mystics in their exploration of human mortality and spirit

Lary Wallace

Essay/History
The empire dreamt back

To help rule its empire, Britain turned to psychoanalysis. But they weren’t willing to hear the truth it told

Erik Linstrum

Essay/Politics & Government
Democratising the digital

Digital technologies are a market product and play politics by different means. It’s up to us to harness them for democracy

Jack Shenker

Essay/History
Struggling to see Palestine

For Westerners, the Bible and its prophecies have obscured as much as they've revealed about the Holy Land

Michael Press

Essay/Economics
The small business myth

Small businesses enjoy an iconic status in modern capitalism, but what do they really contribute to the economy?

Benjamin C Waterhouse

Essay/History of Science
Science is broken

Perverse incentives and the misuse of quantitative metrics have undermined the integrity of scientific research

Siddhartha Roy & Marc A Edwards

Essay/Music
Music is not for ears

We never just hear music. Our experience of it is saturated in cultural expectations, personal memory and the need to move

Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis

Essay/Religion
Monuments to unbelief

Atheist museums, Satanic temples and Thomas Paine statues: how secularists push back against religion in the public sphere

Leigh E Schmidt

Essay/Politics & Government
Treat people as citizens

How a generation of political thinkers has underestimated the abilities of ordinary people and undermined democracy

Nicholas Tampio

Essay/History
The last sacred kings

The veneration which surrounds the world’s last sacred kings shows how secular most of political life has become

Alan Strathern

Essay/Politics & Government
Why nation-states are good

The nation-state remains the best foundation for capitalism, and hyper-globalisation risks destroying it

Dani Rodrik

Essay/Stories & Literature
Readers of the world unite

How markets, Marx, and provincial elites created world literature to fight both empire and nationalism

Martin Puchner

Essay/War & Conflict
Don’t look away

Photography came of age amid the wars and atrocities, as well as the humanitarian aspirations, of the modern world

Jeremy Adelman

Essay/History
The Irish diaspora

There are 70 million people around the world who claim Irish ancestry. What shaped and made the great Irish emigration?

Kevin Kenny

Essay/Cities
Return of the city-state

Nation-states came late to history, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest they won’t make it to the end of the century

Jamie Bartlett

Essay/History
Ideas were not enough

Locke, Spinoza and Voltaire were all brilliant, but religious freedom in Europe was driven by statecraft not philosophy

Mark Koyama

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