Why My Parents Backed Poland’s Far-Right Party

The Postwar Generation Struggled. I Hope That the Newly Elected Parliament Will Bring Them Into the Fold

“Poles are idiots!”

“What are poor people going to do?”

Last October, just days after Poland’s most recent parliamentary elections, I listened as my craggy-faced 83-year-old father angrily shouted these words through the phone receiver in his apartment on the outskirts of Kraków. He and my mother were both distraught. Their party, the populist, right-wing Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, or PiS) of Jarosław Kaczyński had just lost its majority.

For Poland’s last three parliamentary elections, my parents have put on their Sunday best and exercised their democratic right to vote …

Misread, Illegible, Invisible: Searching for a Vocabulary for Tule Lake | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Misread, Illegible, Invisible: Searching for a Vocabulary for Tule Lake

A Descendant of a Japanese American Concentration Camp Survivor Reckons With Wartime Incarceration

Out the front windows of our bus, we could see acres of sun-dried grasses in a hot and arid Northern California summer. On either side of the road: barbed wire …

Will SoCal’s Barbie Doll or NorCal’s Bobby Oppenheimer Destroy the World First?

Forget the Big Box Office War of Summer 2023. Barbenheimer Is a Tale of Two Competing California Apocalypses

Which region is the greater threat to humanity: Northern California or Southern California?

That’s the most urgent question raised by 2023’s great cinematic contest between Oppenheimer and Barbie.

Sure, these are entertaining …

What’s the Cost of a Family Secret?

A California Writer on the Aunt He Never Knew He Had—and the Lessons She Taught Him

Is there a family trait more common than keeping secrets?

These secrets can have hidden costs. When we leave a place or person behind, we don’t know what becomes of them. …

A mural on a wall in the former Jewish ghetto of Vilnius

Where I Go: Lithuania’s Vanished Center of Jewish Life

In Vilna, Where Thousands Were Murdered, I Learned How Difficult It Is to Mourn an Absence

I did it all backward. Instead of taking my research trips before writing my book, like any normal historian would have, I’d waited. Only after I had completed my first …