James Williford is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.
The slave trade by the numbers.
Perched in its launch aft of the cargo ship MV Maersk Alabama, the small, orange vessel in which Captain Richard Phillips spent five tense days last year as the hostage of Somali pirates, loo
Cortez’s conquest of the Aztecs, the Seven Deadly Sins, and Mexican Independence are among the many themes of the masked dances of the Nahua Indians of central Mexico.
Four Acrobats, the mid nineteenth-century Indian miniature, was once part of an ordered series of paintings, each of which corresponded to one of the melodic modes—or rāga—of classical Indian music.
John Ernst Worrell Keely was, in his own words, “the greatest humbug of the nineteenth century.” The perpetrator of a long-running and remarkably elaborate pseudoscientific scam, Keely convinced numer
This diminutive steamer, christened the SL Puffin, began life in 1906 as a 5-horsepower gasoline-powered launch.
A Pennsylvania scholar brings new interest to the composer known as the Black Mozart.
Life on a nineteenth-century whaler was thrilling, tedious, and often disgusting.
Within the culture of the Benin Empire, which thrived from the fifteenth through the nineteenth century in what is now southern Nigeria, only the oba, or sacred monarch, had the authority to
Steam engines and Jell-O paled beside the famed inventor's greatest legacy.
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Humboldt in the New World
Journeying through South America, Alexander von Humboldt sought nothing less than "the unity of nature."
By Anna Maria Gillis
Done with Tolstoy
Famed translators Pevear and Volokhonsky reach another milestone.
By Kevin Mahnken
A Workingman's Poet
Frankness and plain speaking made Carl Sandburg a celebrity.
By Danny Heitman
The Blue Humanities
In studying the sea, we are returning to our beginnings.
By John R. Gillis
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What accounts for Emerson's endurance as a writer?
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