Why ‘Treason’ Usually Isn’t Treason

The Constitution Defines Treason Narrowly. That Hasn’t Stopped the Overblown Rhetoric

The last four years have been a strange time to be a scholar of American treason law. The members of this tiny (and I mean really tiny) group used to live pretty quiet lives. We could happily toil away on historical matters, undisturbed by the din of the daily headlines.

Besides, who needed modern distractions when the history was so thrilling? The story of treason—attempts to overthrow the government or to aid our enemies—is nothing less than the story of America itself. Our country was forged in the American Revolution by …

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Hamlet Is a Suicide Text—It’s Time to Teach It Like One | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Hamlet Is a Suicide Text—It’s Time to Teach It Like One

A Scholar of Shakespeare Sees Perils and Possibilities in the Bard's Plays, and His Own Experience

I once tried to commit suicide. Twenty years later, it’s still hard to talk about. I didn’t want to die. Self-esteem issues, depression, alcoholism. I was signaling, in an unhealthy …

In Liechtenstein, Power to the People—And the Prince | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In Liechtenstein, Power to the People—And the Prince

For Nearly a Century, the Small European Nation Has Fused Monarchy and Direct Democracy Into a Government That Works

Liechtenstein, the nation of 38,500 in the heart of Europe, has for nearly a century deftly governed itself by combining two seemingly contradictory elements: direct democracy and monarchy. Rather than …

I Dream of Jetlag | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

I Dream of Jetlag

After 12 Years in the Sky, a Flight Attendant Braces for Furloughs and Adjusts to Life on the Ground

Last year, a time in history I want to mark as 2019 BC—that is, Before COVID—I was at the height of my flight attendant career. I had just reached the …

What Would Cicero See in American Governance Today? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Would Cicero See in American Governance Today?

Before the Rise of Caesar, the Roman Statesman Predicted How the Spread of Lawlessness Could Destroy a Republic

At some point in the early summer of 54 BC, the Roman statesman Cicero set to work on his most consequential work of political philosophy: De Re publica (On the …

Who’s Left Out of the New American Mainstream? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Who’s Left Out of the New American Mainstream?

The Diversification of Families, Universities, and Even Upper-Level Jobs Obscures How the Prospects of Black Americans Are Stagnating

At a moment when the eyes of the nation are fixed on Black Lives Matter and the anti-racism struggle, it may seem odd to call attention to quiet breaches of …