Politics and History

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Ngugi wa Thiong’o — the renowned Kenyan author — believes African writers should write in their native language, not the colonial language of English or French. He says the best way to decolonize the mind is to reclaim native languages.More

Half brothers Robert Lafayette Gee (right) and Henderson Gee (left)

Rev. Alex Gee is fascinated by genealogy. So he took a DNA test and discovered one of his ancestors was a white slave owner. Then he went down to New Orleans to meet his white relatives — and that meeting sparked a slew of complicated emotions.More

a son of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, is buried in a local cemetery.

Steve Paulson was surprised to discover that a son of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, is buried in a local cemetery. With the help of Erin Hoag of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, he searches for the grave of Eston Hemings Jefferson.More

Malcolm Gladwell

Journalist Malcolm Gladwell is famous for mining behavioral science for his work, and when it comes to better understanding the intersection of crime, violence, and policing, he turns over and over to criminologist Frank Zimring.More

Children in Addis Ababa.

Dagmawi Woubshet and Julie Mehretu were both born in Addis Ababa and then moved to America. They wonder what the city's explosive growth will mean for its unique character — one rooted in Ethiopia's history as the only African nation never colonized.More

Pardeep Singh Kaleka and Arno Michaelis

Pardeep Singh Kaleka's father was murdered when a white supremacist attacked the Sikh temple that his father led. Remarkably, he and a former white supremacist met just two months after the massacre. Now, they work together.More

Benito Mussolini, during the march on Rome

A new museum of fascism has opened in Predappio, Italy—the birthplace of Benito Mussolini. The town is already a pilgrimage site for neo-Fascist groups. Journalist Ilaria Maria Sala says the Mussolini museum has sparked controversy.More

An abstract image of a man at a desk

Daniel Ziblatt has watched authoritarian leaders elected in country after country – Putin in Russia, Erdogan in Turkey, Orban in Hungary, Bolsinaro in Brazil. He says there’s a playbook for how demagogues destroy their countries' democracies.More

Jules Gill Peterson

Jules Gill-Peterson is a historian and trans writer, and author of one of the first histories of transgender children. Speaking with Anne, she challenges us all to imagine a world with more gender freedom and a world where trans means joy.More

Torrey Peters

One of the most eyebrow-raising books of 2021 was Torrey Peters’ debut novel, "Detransition, Baby.” Rolling Stone called it “the most subversive book of the year." It’s a story about three women – transgender and cisgender – and an unexpected pregnancy.More

Big Freedia

In Big Freedia's memoir, she tells the story of growing up gay and gender non-conforming in one of the toughest neighborhoods in New Orleans, of surviving gun violence and Hurricane Katrina, and of finding acceptance and self-expression in Bounce music.More

women walking

After a health scare, Annabel Abbs promised herself she'd make a real effort to walk every day. She fell in love with walking, even began taking multi-week walking vacations. And then she discovered she wasn't the only one -- there's a hidden history of great women walkers from the past. So she decided to tell their stories.More

a drawing of human foot bones

Six million years ago – give or take – the first early humans stood upright and started walking. Thanks to a new look at the fossil record, paleoanthropologist Jeremy DeSilva has some new theories about how and why humans took those first steps.More

Makenna Goodman on her homestead in Vermont

Makenna Goodman is a modern-day homesteader and novelist in rural Vermont. She was inspired by Scott and Helen Nearing, who were back-to-the-land pioneers. But she says their philosophy of "the good life" reeks of class privilege.More

An old barn near Sandy Neck on Cape Cod, Massachusetts in December 2012

Simon Winchester is a British journalist and best-selling author who spent decades on the road before finally buying a small farm in the Berkshires. The experience led to his book “Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World."More

Demonstrators near the Standing Rock Reservation.

Land Back is a movement that demands the return of native lands to indigenous people. One of its leaders, Hayden King — executive director of the Yellowhead Institute — explains why the movement is gaining traction in Canada.More

Africa made of books

Kenyan literary scholar Simon Gikandi says you can’t understand the rise of European culture — or for that matter, the formation of the modern world — without also knowing how European thinkers demonized Africans and the very idea of "blackness."More

the raven

Bad things happen when people lose their connection to the more-than-human world. "Animals know something that we that don't," says psychologist Sharon Blackie. That's one lesson you can take from the old shapeshifting myths and fairy tales.More

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