U.S. History, World History (and a few other areas) – Re-examining the past

The past isn’t just what happened, it’s what we make of what happened later on.

The Washington Post offers Retropolis (“The past, rediscovered”). For the New York Times, it’s the Retro Report (“Essays and documentary videos that re-examine the leading stories of decades past”).

The Atlantic (formerly The Atlantic Monthly) has been around since 1857, and is the reason articles from the 1800s and early 1900s can be found in my files. A few of those links can be found here.

A podcast with a similar approach can be found at BackStory, a project of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. With archives going back to 2008, there’s a lot of topics covered. (If you go to the Show Archives, you can sort by topic instead of by year of broadcast.)

Most of the articles from the links above concern U.S. History. There are a scattering of World History and Sociology articles, and a fair number of Science articles (everything we teach has a history of its own). The Atlantic has more Language Arts articles than the other sources, a few of which show up via the link above. The New York Times series, which goes back to 2013, even has some Foods articles of possible interest.

Paywall trick for sites that limit your monthly articles (via a column in one of the above publications): Most sites use cookies to keep track of how many articles you’ve seen, so clearing all your cookies solves the problem. BUT: doing so may delete cookies you want to keep, so a preferred alternative may be to use the browser’s privacy mode (Firefox: Private Window; Chrome: Incognito Window; Edge: InPrivate Window), which doesn’t save cookies after you close it.

World History – Russian Revolution

It’s the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Check out the New York Times series Red Century (“Exploring the history and legacy of Communism, 100 years after the Russian Revolution”) for articles on the events of the time, and the implications since then.

History – U.S. and World

How do we organize history? Is it just a series of discrete events, to be arranged chronologically? What about context?

Here’s one solution – Horizontal History – and, perhaps, another class project? (This is an excellent way to cross disciplines, too – pretty much every subject we study has its own history, so how do we integrate all of it?)

And while you’re teaching your students about conceptualizing historical time, you can go from macro to micro and discuss their personal time with 100 Blocks a Day, from the same web site.

Want to integrate micro and macro? Try The Atlantic’s Life Timeline – punch in your birthdate and see what’s happened in your lifetime (with links to specific articles about those events). Want to understand your parents, or grandparents, better? Type in their birthdate to see the events that shaped their lives. (Class project, anyone?)