The Olden Bough
Humans have revered ancient trees for about as long as we’ve chopped down forests. What does that fraught relationship reveal about our past? And can it illuminate a path toward a more hopeful future?
Sir Henry Thornton, On and Off the Rails
Knighted by Britain for his work as the Allies’ “railroad czar” in World War I, the Penn alumnus and Pennsylvania Railroad veteran went on to remake the Canadian National Railways before the Great Depression, poor health, and scandal brought him low.
A pair of history profs teams up with Getty Images to create a public-facing, photography-oriented window into Black history.
Marble Dignity, Hollow Soul
Allen Guelzo’s biography of Robert E. Lee depicts the Confederate general as a “complicated rather than complex person.”
Thinking About Ukraine
Penn faculty examine the conflict from multiple perspectives—sometimes clashing, sometimes meshing, and often thought-provoking. Plus: Mike Logsdon C’03’s photographs from Ukraine.
Reconstructing America’s Story
Kermit Roosevelt launches a provocative interpretation of the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Jefferson thought every generation should change the nation’s fundamental law. A new book imagines how that might have played out.
(Re)Introduction to US History
How two Penn professors revamped the entry-level history class for an age of instant information access and endless quarrels over the meaning of America’s past.
The History Wars
Education scholar Jonathan Zimmerman on how the US republic lost the ability to understand itself—and how we can help our children recover it.
How John Lapinski and a squad of Penn faculty and students backing him up on the NBC News Decision Desk navigated an election season that was unprecedented—and could set a pattern for the future.
Courage Through History
From storms to serial killers to shipwrecks, bestselling author Erik Larson has made his name writing about frightening moments in history. When a new one came in the form of a global pandemic, readers found unlikely comfort in his latest book—a story of leadership, perseverance, and hope in the bleakest of times 80 years ago.