In the 1930s, Americans fell in love with Czechoslovakia and Spain; today, it’s Ukraine. What happens when one finds a “second mother country”?
A behind-the-scenes look at what Public Books editors and staff have been reading this month.
Maria Dahvana Headley’s translation of “Beowulf” forces us to think about what we need to be true about the past, and our access to it.
“Campaigns matter in part because of who meets whom, about the social networks that are shaped by that campaign as well as shaping it.”
“It’s not about the land underneath campuses. It’s land at a distance, that can be sold or managed to raise funds for endowments.”
His characters—in 1919 Ireland, 1857 India, and 1940 Singapore—intuit that the world is about to collapse. But they can do nothing to save it.
“You can have really intense intimacy over distance, sometimes only because distance is there.”
Since 1892, the United States has deported more immigrants (over 57 million) than any other nation.
“As a historian and educator of college students, my experience teaching on US imperialism is one of disappointment.”
“Your first, last, and only obligation is to the reader and to the truth as you see it, without fear or favor.”
“Individual Americans thought they were the only ones who could not afford to send their kids to college.”
“Are there ways in which Black North Americans connected to places and things that were outside of the world we thought they were in?”
For decades, South Asian architecture was impelled by the promise of a new society after empire. Now, such buildings are being demolished.
“Writers are being made to carry the weight of politicians.”
“At the end of the day, the America project was about an encounter with abundance that was responded to with greed and brutality.”
“Doesn’t every New Yorker really want to own a co-op?,” a realtor asked a crowd of tenants in 1972. But this provoked only “a chorus of noes.”
Exponentially more enslaved Africans were forced to the lands that now make up Latin America rather than the United States. Where is their story?
The people of Rome have been leaving notes on the Pasquino statue for over 500 years. And this practice continued in the pandemic, fortunately.
Mohamed Mbougar Sarr’s Goncourt-winning novel confronts the racist history of France’s literary prizes.
For the righting of historical wrongs, to simply transfer property continues to perpetuate violence. True reparations require far more work.