Jimmy Carter’s Pragmatic Path to Power

An Idealist in and After Office, He Became a Governor and a President By Appealing to Racial and Class Prejudice

Former president Jimmy Carter, who will be 99 this Sunday, October 1, was only 46 when he first popped up on the national political radar. After declaring in his 1971 inaugural address as governor of Georgia that “the time for racial discrimination is over,” Carter followed through by increasing the number of Black people on state boards and commissions from three to 53, boosting Black employment in state jobs by 25%, and hanging a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. in the state capitol.

Media-wise, such moves secured Carter’s place within …

A Tale of Two Pride Marches | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Tale of Two Pride Marches

In the 1980s, Mexico’s Gay Rights Movement Was Fractured. Its Legacy Offers Lessons for Today

On June 25, 1983, two distinct marches set out from Mexico City’s Monumento a Los Niños Héroes. One was a traditional march, with a serious tone in line with the …

When the President’s Best and Brightest Were Also the Richest

The Practice of Tapping the Moneyed Elite Began with WWI—and Was Surprisingly Scandal-Free

From our earliest days we Americans have embraced leaders from among the ranks of the nation’s moneyed elite. Voters set the tone when they chose George Washington, the wealthiest …

The Loneliness of America’s Poor Kids

Political Scientist Robert D. Putnam Explains the Toll Inequality is Taking on Children with Less Educated, Less Connected, Less Wealthy Parents

Harvard political scientist Robert D. Putnam grew up in the 1950s in Port Clinton, Ohio, a small town on Lake Erie. Central to his new book, Our Kids: The American …

Is Rising Inequality Slowly Poisoning Our Democracy?

What the Growing Gap Between the Haves and Have-Nots Is Doing to American Morals, Myths, Social and Economic Policies, and Politics

Back in the 1980s, President Reagan famously took a jab at the policies of Lyndon Johnson with the remark, “In the ’60s we waged a war on poverty, and poverty …

Growing Up in ‘The Jungle,’ I Wanted to Head for the Hills

As a Kid in Baldwin Village, I Cranked Up the Radio to Drown Out the Gunfire and Dreamed of Duran Duran and Houses with Lawns

In 1977, my parents moved my two siblings and me into a second-story, three-bedroom apartment on Santo Tomas Drive in the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles.

It was one unit within …