Politics and History

Mind/body

Remember debating the mind-body duality in college? You probably argued the meaning of Descartes’ adage “I think, therefore I am” in your dorm. Maybe you even delved into the idea of what is consciousness. But for Lauren Slater, author of “Prozac Diary,” the mind-body argument isn’t just a debate or an intellectual pursuit.More

Doors across borders.

The Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid sets his newest novel, "Exit West," in a world of permanent mass migration, in a city ripped apart by civil war. He told Steve Paulson he modeled it on his own city — Lahore, Pakistan.More

Lady Liberty

Historian Carol Anderson walks us through the timeline of truly free and fair elections in the United States, a period she says lasted from the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 until a fateful Supreme Court decision in 2013.More

Voting Day

Could we make our elections more secure, more inclusive, or just more fun? Depends on who you ask, and we asked a lot of people.More

Pick your poison

Throughout history, we've been surrounded by substances that seemed benign and innocent in our food, in our gardens, in our medicine cabinets — until we realized they could be slowly killing us.More

A house in Savannah, Georgia — one of America's most haunted cities.

The Sorrel-Weed House has been called the “most haunted house” in Savannah, Georgia, and its “ghost tour” is a big tourist attraction. But historian Tiya Miles found another story of slavery and racial stereotypes buried in this history.More

Guy under stress

According to one estimate there may be as many as 50 million workers in the on demand economy, and they're not all Uber drivers or freelancers. Economist Guy Standing has a word for this new and very insecure economic class: "the precariat."More

Students testing their DNA

What's it like to discover that your own genetic ancestry is both black and white? At West Chester University in Pennsylvania, Anita Foeman leads the DNA Discussion Project, where students use DNA testing to learn about their mixed bloodlines.More

Half brothers Robert Lafayette Gee (right) and Henderson Gee (left). Robert was Ruben Gee‘s first child to his white wife, Aurelia. Henderson was his second child to his slave, Venus. Henderson was born a slave.

Rev. Alex Gee is fascinated by geneology. So he took a DNA test and discovered one of his ancestors was a white slave owner. Then he went down to New Orleans to meet his white relatives — and that meeting sparked a slew of complicated emotions.More

Robot boy

Alexander Weinstein’s “Children of the New World” is a collection of cautionary tales about extreme emotional attachment to software and silicon.  More

"Poison Squad" Volunteers taking in a dinner with a side of Borax.

Science writer Deborah Blum on the government scientists who made the case for food regulation by "eating dangerously."More

Art Official Age cover

Chuck Klosterman thinks the Internet has ruined a lot of things, including death.More

A glowing radium clock.

How painting radium on watches and instrument dials killed more than 50 young women working in Ottawa, Illinois.More

Rashid Johnson, Antoine’s Organ, 2016.

Rashid Johnson is a rising star in the art world. Using signature materials like shea butter and black soap, he explores themes of race, yearning and escape, and grapples with what it means to come of age as a black artist and intellectual.More

Right-wing provocateur and Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes pumps his fist during a rally at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park on April 27, 2017 in Berkeley, Calif.

Investigative journalist Alexandra Hall examined the "Proud Boys," a men's organization whose founder preaches libertarian ideals, the rejection of feminism, and the "veneration of the housewife," which translates to the belief that most women belong at home.More

gas station

Can you hear racism and intolerance? Jennifer Stoever can when she listens to the “sonic color line” — a way to hear racial division, how it’s reinforced and maintained, by whom and why, and at what cost. 
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Baby with tag

Wendy Kline says the history of birth in America is the story of the medical establishment’s deliberate suppression of midwives. For her as for most mothers, it’s a story that’s political and personal.  More

The midwives of "Call the Midwife" (BBC)

Anne Strainchamps joins a group of women, Laurie, Jane, Carol and Liz, to watch the premiere of Season 7 of "Call the Midwife" and talk about birth.  More

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