How Japanese Americans Built a ‘Useful American Life with All Possible Speed’ in 1940s Chicago

Incarcerated on the West Coast by the U.S. Government, Thousands Were Then Given ‘Work Leave’ to Resettle in the Midwest

In March 1943, Kaye Kimura left the “Manzanar War Relocation Center” in California and boarded the same train that had brought her there in 1942, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt had sent 120,000 Japanese Americans to wartime prisons.

During her first trip on the train, Kimura had ridden with the windows closed and the shades down, by order of the military. This time, as a parolee and not a prisoner, she was allowed to gaze at the world beyond.

Kimura, just 28 years old, was headed to Chicago with urgent …

Frank Capra’s Formula for Taming American Capitalism

It’s a Wonderful Life Prescribed Community and Empathy as the Remedy to a Callous Economic System

From the Gilded Age and until well into the Great Depression, Americans engaged in one of the most consequential debates in the country’s history: how best to address the economic …

How the South Made Hubert Humphrey Care About Race

The Minnesota Liberal's Louisiana School Years Turned His 'Abstract Commitment' to Civil Rights Into 'Flesh and Blood'

It is one of the great ironies of 20th-century American history: Hubert Humphrey, the foremost proponent of civil rights among American politicians, had little contact with African Americans until age …

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Act of Infamy Against Japanese Americans

How a Human Rights Champion Gave in to Racist Suspicion After Pearl Harbor

In recent months, president-elect Donald Trump has said he is considering setting up a registry to track Muslim Americans and foil jihadist plots from being hatched in the United States. …

1936, When “The Dictator” FDR Was Bent on Constitutional Destruction

The Fight Over the New Deal and Roosevelt's Second Term Launched a New Style of American Political Attack

True or False? Franklin Delano Roosevelt claimed to be a conservative defender of the nation’s founding ideals.

If you answered “both,” you’d be correct. We don’t tend to think of …

The New Deal Origins of Homeland Security

During FDR’s Administration, the First Lady and the Mayor of New York Clashed Over Guns, Butter, and American Liberalism

Ever since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans have faced a set of seemingly unprecedented national security challenges and anxieties. Our society has been consumed with debates …