Intro to the Socialism 2023 Conference

    The Socialism 2023 conference was held in Chicago, September 1-4, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place hotel, near the lakefront. It was a beautiful Labor Day weekend in the city. The timing of Labor Day was no coincidence, of course, though the venue might be said to have had a whiff of the […]

When Your Friend Runs for Congress

  Chris Bruneau, Republican candidate for US Congress, lives in Bel Air, Maryland, 30 miles northeast of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. This is Maryland’s 1st Congressional District, the state’s largest district and only deep-red one. The upright of its L-shape comprises eight of the state’s top-10 counties with the most farmland, on the Eastern Shore of […]

Calamity on Fields of Green: Gettysburg

    Leaving the Flight 93 National Memorial in central Pennsylvania for Gettysburg, a drive of just two-and-a-half hours along Route 30, the old Lincoln Highway, it was tempting to compare the two sites. Both involved large-scale but very different technological violence; both occurred on otherwise bucolic fields; both were about national determination to different […]

Calamity on Fields of Green: Flight 93

    Driving east from Pittsburgh toward Baltimore, intending to stop at Gettysburg, I was surprised to be reminded in the middle of the Pennsylvania countryside of the nearby Flight 93 crash site, now a National Memorial run by the National Park Service. Hijackers on September 11, 2001, purposely crashed the United Airlines passenger jet […]

African Americans and Cars

    The Frick Pittsburgh—not to be confused with the Frick Fine Arts Building at the University of Pittsburgh, the Frick Building in Pittsburgh, or The Frick Collection or the Frick Art Reference Library in New York City—has a special exhibit now called Pittsburgh and the Great Migration: Black Mobility and the Automobile, which ends […]

Missouri News in the 1870s: How People Died

        Let us end our time travel with death, the most revealing state of all. There was no privacy between the 1860s and 1880s; one learned from the newspaper exactly what ailed one’s neighbors. An awful lot of dropsy, the swelling we now call edema, and specifically, dropsy of the heart; also […]

Interesting Things I Found on the Internet, November Edition

        This little tidbit about a series of cholera outbreaks in Cleveland only caught my attention because of the city, not the illness. For some reason, I have bumped into Cleveland a lot this fall semester in a graduate class I am teaching on African American autobiography. William Wells Brown, the St. […]

Espionage in the Midwest

      “Xiang Haitao hasn’t posted lately” says his LinkedIn page. It lists him working as an advanced imaging scientist for Monsanto “2008 – Present”—which is a bit awkward, since it omits the economic espionage conviction that jailed and then deported him. What LinkedIn does not know is that Xiang quit in 2017—and booked […]

Beloved Though Befallen

Population 2,313, Wellston sits immediately north of University City, though most living and learning south of Delmar likely know it primarily for its Metro stop en route to the airport. On November 21, that changed, or started to change, at least, with the “Wellston Loop Family Reunion & Exhibit” organized by Steven Friedman and Washington […]