California Needs Frank Capra to Rewrite Its Story

The Legendary Film Director Knew That the Golden State Isn’t About Rich Moguls, but About the Struggles and Triumphs of Ordinary People

The California story needs a remake.

Get me Capra!

Frank—legendary director of films including It Happened One Night to It’s a Wonderful Life—has been dead since 1991, you say? No matter! Just this fall, Capra published a novel, a short David-and-Goliath tale about developers and locals in the eastern Sierra. So just dig up his bones at Coachella Valley Public Cemetery and reassemble them behind the camera to make another of his great stories about the little guys who won’t bow down to the big shots.

California’s story has become too much about …

Frank Capra Oversimplified the Italian-American Story

In His Life and Career, the Sicilian-Born Director Absorbed His Adopted Country’s Ambivalence Toward Italians

Frank Capra, the director of It’s a Wonderful Life, called the film his favorite, and even screened it for his own family every holiday season. The movie hit close to …

The 1929 Law That Turned Undocumented Entry Into a Crime

By Treating Migrants as Felons, the Undesirable Aliens Act Reinforced a Punitive Approach to Unauthorized Immigration

Too often, discussions of modern immigration policy are ahistorical, focusing on recent events while ignoring the past policies that led us, as a country, to where we are today.

That’s especially …

Why the ‘New Nationalism’ Can Only Flourish in Conflict

Built on Hatred, and the Need for an Adversary, It Thrives on Contempt for Other Cultures, Religions, and Even Languages

Nationalism as we know it today—a global movement of states led by strongmen decrying globalization—is a recent invention. But a brief and broad history of nationalism reveals its important paradoxes …

Why Amnesty Remains America’s Best Immigration Policy

As Ronald Reagan Knew, a Country That Doesn't Forgive Will Turn Against Itself

One afternoon in July 1985, President Ronald Reagan met with his domestic policy council in the White House cabinet room. The question: should he keep pushing legislation to offer amnesty …

How Mail-Order Spouses Helped Settle America

Ever Since the 'Tobacco Brides' of Jamestown, Government-Led 'Partner Redistribution' Has Eased Male Loneliness and Expanded Women's Freedom

The history of government-sponsored matchmaking in the United States is a long one, with roots in the very founding of the colonies. In his account of life in the early …