The Roundup Top Ten for October 23, 2020


The Framers of the Constitution Didn’t Worry about ‘Originalism’

by Jack Rakove

"Some of the key words and terms in our constitutional vocabulary were subject to pounding controversy and reconsideration. One has to engage these debates to understand how Americans were thinking about these issues at the time."


Religious Identity And Supreme Court Justices – A Brief History

by Nomi Stolzenberg

In recent decades, religious influence on the Court has been shaped by conservatives of different faiths, construed as part of a mythical Judeo-Christian tradition, coalescing around a common agenda defined less by affiliation with a religious denomination than with opposition to liberalism and secularism.



What Fans of "Herd Immunity" Don't Tell You

by John M. Barry

Prolonged isolation measures to fight COVID-19 do cause harm--social, emotional, and economic. But advocates of "herd immunity" are not offering a practical or safe plan to protect the vulnerable if the virus spreads on a mass scale. 



American Exceptionalism Gives Voters a False Sense of Security about the Election

by Melissa J. Gismondi and Shira Lurie

American democracy won’t endure just because it always has. In this moment, American exceptionalism could prove fatal.



Disenfranchisement in Jails Weakens our Democracy

by Charlotte Rosen

Because the pretrial population is disproportionately non-White, this kind of “de facto disenfranchisement” constitutes an abhorrent form of racist voter suppression, despite rarely gaining the headlines and outrage that long voting lines do. 



The Women Behind the Million Man March

by Natalie Hopkinson

Community archives such as the District of Columbia’s are critical interventions into the omissions of history. This one, like others, makes clear that behind every great feat in the public record lies an untold story of the unsung foot soldiers, architects, analysts and fixers — and these are often women.



We All Think History Will Be on Our Side. Here's Why We Shouldn't

by Priya Satia

We would do better to listen to today’s historians in order to understand how we got here and recover other guides to conscience, not just look to future historians for consolation.



Toward a Global History of White Supremacy

by Daniel Geary, Camilla Schofield, and Jennifer Sutton

We need to understand the history of global connections between white supremacists if we are to grasp what has sustained white nationalism despite global trends toward liberation and equality.



Conservative Activists in Texas Have Shaped the History All American Children Learn

by Rob Alex Fitt

"Liberal groups such as People for the American Way were aghast at what was happening in Texas. They launched counter campaigns in the early 1970s to try to break conservative activists’ stranglehold on the textbook selection process, to no avail."



1619, Revisited

by Nicholas Guyatt

Argument isn’t an obstacle to the work of historians; it is the work of historians. Public interest in 1619 has suggested something truly profound: that Americans have the capacity to think differently about their history. 


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