Lives & Histories

Past Editor: Deborah Cohen

Our Mothers, Ourselves

I intended to begin with a personal admission. “I didn’t like being pregnant,” I was going to write, before describing the bodily discomforts (hypersalivation!) and psychic stresses (due date during ...

Carolyn Heilbrun Told You So

Over the course of a few weeks in April, amid the usual tiny indignities that beset women in academe, I read through Carolyn Heilbrun’s entire oeuvre. April ...

Guns Were for White Men

This image from the 1773 edition of Mary White Rowlandson’s narrative of her 1675 captivity by Native people presents us with a puzzle, one historian Jill Lepore queried in her influential history of ...

Toward the Black Girl Future

To read Eve L. Ewing is to read Chicago. Born and raised in the city’s Logan Square neighborhood in the 1980s and 1990s, Ewing’s love for the city is palpable in ...

In Memoriam: Philip Roth

The obituaries are striving to strike the properly respectful note, but with Philip Roth that was always going to be a challenge. The New York Times highlights Roth’s interest in masturbation, and ...

Ireland’s Uneasy Monuments

“History,” writes Fergal Keane, “began with my father’s stories.” These were stories of Oliver Cromwell’s murders, of the dead of the Irish Famine, of wars of ...

Down with the Scribes!

Mesopotamian scribes knew a story about the invention of writing. According to this story, the momentous event occurred in the city of Uruk, where King Enmerkar coveted treasures from the neighboring ...

The Netflix Queen

“What a marvelous way of looking at the history of modern Britain,” enthused the socialist historian Raphael Samuel when fellow historian Ben Pimlott told him in the 1990s that he was writing a ...