Salmon P. Chase is best remembered as a rival of Lincoln’s for the Republican nomination in 1860, but Walter Stahr suggests there would not have been a national Republican Party—and Lincoln could not have won the presidency—were it not for the vital groundwork Chase laid over the previous two decades. Stahr sheds new light on a complex and fascinating political figure, as well as on the pivotal events in the years before, during and right after the Civil War.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Professors Drew Gilpin Faust and Lien-Hang Nguyen discuss the changing roles of women in wartime. Professor Faust sheds light on the shift in women’s work during the Civil War and the subsequent impact it had on the concept of the American family. Professor Nguyen’s expertise on U.S.-East Asia relations, specifically the Vietnam War, opens the conversation about women’s participation in the fight for peace in Vietnam.
Nancy Pelosi has lived on the cutting edge of the revolutions in both women’s roles and in the nation’s movement to more polarized politics. She has established herself as a crucial friend or formidable foe to U.S. presidents, a master legislator, and an indefatigable political warrior. Author and journalist Susan Page delves into Pelosi’s remarkable life and how the first woman Speaker of the House has shaped our nation.
Sugar is ubiquitous in the modern diet, but in the 18th and 19th centuries it was a luxury product that brought enormous wealth to the United States as well as European nations and their colonies. Scholar Khalil Gibran Muhammad uncovers how the flourishing trade of “white gold,” the production of which relied on intensive and dangerous labor, fueled slavery and relied on exploitation.
The modern debate over public monuments has forced the nation to collectively confront the more difficult aspects of American history. As we approach the 100th anniversary of the most famous of all Lincoln statues—Daniel Chester French’s seated colossus for the Lincoln Memorial—the 16th president’s longtime image as a heroic figure is suddenly being re-examined. This illustrated talk explores the unexpected origins of Lincoln statuary, reveals Lincoln’s eagerness to pose for sculptors, and assesses the reputation of Lincoln icons in 21st century America.
In light of New-York Historical’s Composite Nation exhibit, award-winning author David W. Blight and renowned scholar Eddie S. Glaude Jr. bring to life one of Frederick Douglass’s most poetic speeches, “Our Composite Nationality.” Douglass’s optimism for a nation so deeply rooted in equality that it could expand democratic values to other nations was especially compelling post Civil War.
Numerous presidents have tried and failed to broker lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Drawing from extensive interviews with Henry Kissinger, newly available documents from American and Israeli archives, as well as on his own experiences, foreign relations analyst Martin Indyk traces the arc of American diplomatic influence in the Middle East and explores Dr. Kissinger’s role in creating the modern Middle East peace process.
Farah Jasmine Griffin has spent years rooted in the culture of Black genius and the legacy of books that her father left her after he passed away when she was nine. As a professor, she has devoted herself to passing these works and their wisdom on to generations of students. In a special talk and reading, Professor Griffin entwines memoir, history, and art while grappling with the continuing struggle for Black freedom and the ongoing project that is American democracy.
From classrooms to the halls of Congress to the forums of social media, the nation is reckoning with its complicated and often difficult racial history. Are the national conversations we are having productive? How do these discussions impact Black communities and the wider American social fabric? New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed linguist John McWhorter explores the contemporary debates surrounding racism and antiracism, white privilege, cancel culture, and “wokeism.”