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Civil War-era group portrait of blacks near the James River in Virginia

Reading the Civil War

The moral and political dilemmas of the time seem so clear in retrospect.


Words of America

The final volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English approaches

Last call: Detroit liquor store

Going Dry

The Coming of Prohibition

Battle of Ft. Erie

A Forgotten Hero in a Forgotten War

Thomas Pearson repelled American forces, driving Canada toward nationhood.

"Effects of Fugitive-Slave Law"

When the Slave-Catcher Came to Town

Oberlin, Ohio, was an abolitionist stronghold, but not impermeable.

Sixth-grade Civil War reenactors

The Civil War to a Seventh Grader

Middle schoolers comb through diaries, trek over battlefields, and relive history with cameras in hand.

Statue full figure

Property of Tennessee Williams

What a souvenir statue tells us about his writing.

The Conversation Piece

Henry James and the American Idea

The Atlantic Monthly helped establish the expatriate author as a literary great.

Young dancer

Everything Is Divine in Bali

A new exhibit of art, ritual, and performance from a tropical paradise.

Open book

The Well-Wrought Textbook

The making of the midcentury English department classic, Understanding Poetry.