American Students Are Taught Racism Is Bad—But They’re Still Not Learning the Truth About Race
Every semester college students come into my social science classes knowing two incompatible things.
The Anthropologists who Upended the ‘Science’ of White Supremacy
Just released from prison and working on the final edits of “Mein Kampf,” Adolf Hitler could think of only one country in the world that really understood what he was getting at.
Gin, Sex, Malaria, and the Hunt for Academic Prestige
The Chronicle Review
How the misadventures of Margaret Mead, Reo Fortune, and Gregory Bateson shaped anthropology. “A living room in Grantwood, N.J., has a good claim to being the birthplace, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, of a new science of humankind. Amid the demands of advising and fund-raising, the chair of the Columbia University anthropology department,…
When Zora Neale Hurston Studied Zombies in Haiti
Zora Neale Hurston’s 1930s study of Haitian voodoo culture showed her a new category between life and death “When Zora Neale Hurston stepped ashore in Port-au-Prince, in September 1936, Haiti was in the middle of what local officials were calling its second independence. Since an armed revolution in 1791, which eventually threw off French rule,…
The Decline of International Studies
Why Flying Blind Is Dangerous “In October 2013, the U.S. Department of State eliminated its funding program for advanced language and cultural training on Russia and the former Soviet Union. Created in 1983 as a special appropriation by Congress, the so-called Title VIII Program had supported generations of specialists working in academia, think tanks, and…
Refugees of the Bosphorus
Istanbul, 1944: A Bloomingdale’s executive and a future Pope teamed with Jewish intelligence agents to save hundreds of Eastern European Jews. “Excerpted from Midnight at the Pera Palace: The Birth of Modern Istanbul by Charles King. Out now from W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. In the blustery February of 1944, a raven-haired Bloomingdale’s executive found himself…
Happy Captive Nations Week!
It’s that time of year when we are supposed to celebrate one of the weirdest artifacts of the Cold War. “Given the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the war in Gaza, you would be forgiven for having missed the fact that we are now in the middle of America’s annual Captive Nations Week….
The people of this great Ukrainian port city have a long record of getting their history wrong. Sometimes, that isn’t a bad thing. ” ‘People are worried now more than ever. You hear shooting in the streets, and barricades are going up. … The police are doing nothing or even going over to the side…