Politics and History

Three magical doors to places across the globe.

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

an aging world structure

The future feels unpredictable in so many places today. If you look around the world right now, seems like everyone wants their own independent nation. Are the old nation-states...toast? That’s what John Feffer worries about.More

Catalonians rally for independence

Catalans have a different language, flag and anthem from Spain. Some in the region are fighting for independence. Catalonia is a nation divided in cultural identity, but should it separate from Spain?More

The Schlitz Bottling Floor, c. 1666.

Milwaukee has a reputation as America's "Brew City." But why? Historian Ben Barbera lays out the economic forces and acts of God that built the houses of Miller, Pabst and Schlitz.More

Karl Marx

Is it time to reassess the revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx? May 5th marks the 200th birthday of the thinker, and to mark the bicentennial, we dug into our archives to feature my 2014 interview with Terry Eagleton, who says we never really understood Marx.More

What if Karl Marx were alive today and came back for a visit?  That's the premise of the one-man show "Marx in Soho," starring Brian Jones and written by the late historian Howard Zinn.More

For all that's been written about Karl Marx, there's been no book about his marriage to Jenny Marx - until now. Biographer Mary Gabriel explains why Marx's family life had a profound influence on his thinking.More

Fence

Civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson believes in creating incentives to reduce the country's prison population.More

General Sherman, AKA Karl Marx

There's a famous sequoia named General Sherman that's the biggest tree on the planet. It has its own distinctive history linked to the Civil War general and a radical anarchist group. Cultural historian Daegan Miller tells this fascinating story.More

Margery Kempe was one of the world's most famous Christian mystics — a medieval pilgrim with a penchant for uncontrollable sobbing. More

First it was vinyl; now, it's the typewriter. Vintage Smith-Coronas and Olivettis are hot items on Ebay and making a comeback in the age of computers. As cities around country are hosting "type ins" one can't help but wonder: are we seeing a hipster fad or the analog rebellion?  Philosopher Richard Polt assesses the typewriter revolution.More

Betsan Corkhill founded Britain's therapeutic knitting movement — the clinical application of knitting to treat a variety of mental and physical ailments. More

water

WisContext — a reporting collaboration between Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and the University of Wisconsin's Cooperative Extension —has done some exceptional reporting on water rights and the economics of water diversion in our home state of Wisconsin. We're sharing some of it here.More

Kerepunu women at the marketplace of Kalo, British New Guinea, 1885

A conversation with renowned biologist Jared Diamond, best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Guns, Germs and Steel.” His new book is “The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?”More

Man alone in a tunnel

David Morris spent three years reporting in Iraq before an improvised explosive device forced him to return home. The attack haunted him, and kicked off a bout with PTSD that would take years to recover from. More

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 a debate or an intellectual pursuit. It’s a personal choice, one that is both necessary and terrible.More

Angie Jiang goes to Washington

Have you ever tried to lobby a US Senator? How about when you were 17? Angie Jiang did. She’s a high school senior. She’s on the swim team. She loves Beyonce. And she’s an advisor to the UN.More

Teens walk out against gun violence on March 14 in Madison, Wis.

As we hear out the ambitions of today's teen activists, politicians and artists, what do they think adults need to do to help them change the world?More

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