Historian Jon Grinspan explains how saloons used to be a hub for working-class life, including politics. Is Starbucks an adequate replacement? Read Grinspan’s astute analysis here at the New York Times: The Saloon, America’s Forgotten Democratic Institution – The New York Times
Steven Hahn (Ph.D. Yale) is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania. Here he deftly summarizes his new book about the United States from 1830-1910 as seen more from the South, West, and Mexico rather than from the Northeast: A Nation Without Borders – Process
If the appeal of Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Brexit can all be described as “populist,” then what is populism? Here’s a concise summary by Matthew Wills at JSTOR and a link to a longer article by historian William F. Holmes: Populism for Beginners | JSTOR Daily
This is a fine essay by historian Michael Kazin on “populist” in light of America’s political past. (Kazin’s biography of William Jennings Bryan is a fine study, which I have used in my teaching.) Source: How Can Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Both Be ‘Populist’? – The New York Times
If you’re an American adult who regularly rides a bicycle, you might feel a tiny sense of moral superiority about getting exercise and reducing your carbon footprint. But in the 1890s, the moral discourse around bike riding was very different, and much more fraught. As Michael Taylor explained in a 2010 paper, Protestant authorities saw cycling as a significant threat to morality, and tried to mold the sport into a Christian activity.
Read the rest of Livia Gershon’s post at JSTOR Daily here: The Moral Threat of Bicycles in the 1890s | JSTOR Daily
Before there was the politically-informed humor of Daily Show, there were political cartoons. The golden age of political cartoons was the Gilded Age (1865-1900). Learn more about this from Matthew Wills at JSTOR Daily: The Golden Age of Political Cartoons | JSTOR Daily
According to Jon Grinspan at the Smithsonian,
The amazing thing about running for president is how many people are actually willing to attempt it. The 2016 campaign’s big crop is nothing new—throughout American history large numbers of contenders have crowded into the ring. And though the forty-one-candidate Democratic primary of 1924 seemed to have had the most aspirants, the campaigns of the late 19th century struck citizens as the most overstuffed.And the most ridiculous.
You can read Grinspan’s entire post here: Poking fun at the crowded presidential race—in the 1880s | National Museum of American History