civil war

Busting the myth that Congress made Confederate vets into U.S. vets

July 24, 2015 - Since a white supremacist who waved the Confederate flag gunned down nine African Americans in a Charleston church last month, battles have raged across the South over the future of Confederate monuments. Some Confederate apologists are claiming that a 1958 law gives Confederate veterans, and thus the monuments to them, equal status to U.S. veterans and their memorials. They're wrong.

A Fourth of July anthology for the 'constructive patriot'

July 3, 2014 - Political psychologists distinguish between "blind patriotism" that's intolerant and unquestioning and "constructive patriotism," which welcomes questioning with the hope of creating positive change. On this most patriotic of holidays, we share some of our favorite writings and songs in the spirit of the latter, and we invite you to do the same.

John Wilkes Booth: Presidential assassin, fracking pioneer

January 24, 2014 - Before he became infamous for the murder of President Lincoln, the Confederate sympathizer from Maryland was an oilman who used explosives to boost well production. The technique -- refined by another man whose Civil War experiences inspired what he called the "petroleum torpedo" -- was the rock-shattering prototype for modern hydraulic fracturing.

Time for a new debate about business success

July 30, 2012 - In debating what it takes to succeed in business, President Obama and Mitt Romney talk as if we were still in an early 19th Century economy of small enterprises. But with megacorporations dominating American commerce, it's time to talk about tightening state corporation laws -- or replacing them entirely with a federal chartering system.

Thanksgiving's surprising Civil War roots

November 25, 2009 - While its mythology might lead us to imagine America has been celebrating it ever since the Pilgrims joined with their Indian neighbors to throw a feast of gratitude after surviving a brutal winter, Thanksgiving as a national U.S. holiday is actually a more recent tradition -- first proclaimed by President Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War.