Michael E. Staub: Ghosts of Bell Curves Past

Today we welcome a guest post from Michael E. Staub, author of The Mismeasure of Minds:  Debating Race and Intelligence between Brown and The Bell Curve, just published by UNC Press. The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision required desegregation of America’s schools, but it also set in motion an agonizing multi-decade debate over… Continue Reading Michael E. Staub: Ghosts of Bell Curves Past

Nortin M. Hadler, M.D., and Stephen P. Carter, J.D.: Redesigning the American Health Care System

Today we welcome a guest post from Nortin M. Hadler, M.D., and Stephen P. Carter, J.D., authors of a new open-access pamphlet published by UNC Press, Promoting Worker Health:  A New Approach to Employee Benefits in the Twenty-First Century. In this extended essay, the authors introduce a new approach to reforming the American health-care system–a… Continue Reading Nortin M. Hadler, M.D., and Stephen P. Carter, J.D.: Redesigning the American Health Care System

Muriel R. Gillick, M.D.: The Not-So-Secret Secret About American Health Care

Today, we welcome a guest post from Dr. Muriel R. Gillick, author of Old and Sick in America:  The Journey through the Health Care System. Since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, the American health care system has steadily grown in size and complexity. Old and Sick in America takes readers on a… Continue Reading Muriel R. Gillick, M.D.: The Not-So-Secret Secret About American Health Care

Muriel R. Gillick, M.D.: Happy Birthday, Medicare

Today, we welcome a guest post from Dr. Muriel R. Gillick, author of Old and Sick in America:  The Journey through the Health Care System, on the founding of the national health insurance program we call Medicare. Since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, the American health care system has steadily grown in… Continue Reading Muriel R. Gillick, M.D.: Happy Birthday, Medicare

Chris Myers Asch & George Derek Musgrove: Chocolate City

Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital by Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove is the most up-to-date and comprehensive history of race and race-relations in the nation’s capital. Thoroughly researched yet very readable, Chocolate City focuses on African American history, but does not neglect Native American and white components of DC history. Continue Reading Chris Myers Asch & George Derek Musgrove: Chocolate City

Pamela Grundy: Color and Character

At a time when race and inequality dominate national debates, the story of West Charlotte High School illuminates the possibilities and challenges of using racial and economic desegregation to foster educational equality. Continue Reading Pamela Grundy: Color and Character

Sarah S. Elkind: Energy Corporations in Schools: Then and Now

Today, fossil fuel companies have engaged in a similar propaganda war—funding questionable research, donating questionable curriculum to hard-pressed schools, and touting their contributions to the public welfare in advertising campaigns—for similar self-interested reasons. Recent reports out of Oklahoma exposed the oil and gas industry’s science curriculum and the incentives like fully-funded field trips and free supplies and lab equipment. This echoes a similar story about coal-funded classroom materials published and later withdrawn by Scholastic, Inc., in 2009. Continue Reading Sarah S. Elkind: Energy Corporations in Schools: Then and Now

Nancy Tomes: Remarks from the Bancroft Awards Dinner

Thinking about those issues was like entering a funhouse with distorted mirrors: people used the same words—patient, consumer, choice, value—and meant very different things by them. In search of the origins of this strange concept of the “patient as consumer,” I kept going back further and further, looking for where it came from. The roots turned out to be a lot earlier than I expected: the 1920s and 1930s, not the 1970s. Continue Reading Nancy Tomes: Remarks from the Bancroft Awards Dinner

Toby L. Parcel: School Assignment and the Emotional Investment of Mothers

We used our survey data to study who favored diverse schools, who favored neighborhood schools, and who worried about school reassignments. Continue Reading Toby L. Parcel: School Assignment and the Emotional Investment of Mothers

Lon Kurashige: What Would Teddy Roosevelt Do?

It is important to recall Roosevelt’s positions on immigration because of the similarities between his day and our own. Immigration fears are a regular feature in today’s headlines as the United States (not mention the U.K. and European countries) wrestles with how much and in what ways to close its borders to newcomers. The same was true when Roosevelt became president. Continue Reading Lon Kurashige: What Would Teddy Roosevelt Do?

Ellen Griffith Spears: End Toxic Discrimination

One Supreme Court decision announced this June received limited notice, in part because it came out the same week as momentous decisions on marriage equality and the Affordable Care Act, and following the horrific tragedy at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. But the Court’s decision in a fair housing dispute, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs et al. v. Inclusive Communities Project, merits serious attention as LGBTQ activists and their allies move on to tackle employment and housing discrimination and as the momentum from the campaign to remove the Confederate flag from public places turns toward a broader agenda. The ruling could be especially significant for activists working to end the disproportionate placement of polluting factories and hazardous waste facilities in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. Continue Reading Ellen Griffith Spears: End Toxic Discrimination

Michael Barkun: Reverse Transparency in Post-9/11 America

Unlike the covert electronic infringements by the NSA, some other infringements are open and obvious—for example, security check-points at airports and government buildings, or surveillance cameras covering public spaces. These are examples of what I term “reverse transparency.” Traditionally, transparency has been a standard applied to organizations, such as corporations or governments, by which we require that their decisions be clear and open in order to permit accountability. Increasingly, however, under the pressure of homeland security concerns, this traditional conception has been, as it were, stood on its head. Continue Reading Michael Barkun: Reverse Transparency in Post-9/11 America

Laura Micheletti Puaca: Shopping and the New National Security Frontier

The widespread use of information technology by the military, government, schools, financial institutions, transportation centers, and personal homes (to name just a few) means that nearly every aspect of American society is susceptible to cyber-violations. Hardly limited to the theft of individuals’ personal information, hacking threatens to undermine the nation’s economy and our general safety. Electrical grids, water processing facilities, stock exchanges, and weapons defense systems all depend on computer networks, and any malicious incursions could render disastrous results. Continue Reading Laura Micheletti Puaca: Shopping and the New National Security Frontier

Interview: Mical Raz on poverty, mental health, and U.S. social policy

Poverty is often seen as a personal failure, whereas success is a mark of hard work; thus economic status serves a surrogate for individual self-worth, and not an indicator of society’s structure and its limitations. Poor men and women are still often portrayed in stereotypical terms as being lazy and unmotivated. Continue Reading Interview: Mical Raz on poverty, mental health, and U.S. social policy

Interview: Dr. Nortin M. Hadler on The Citizen Patient

The Citizen Patient is the design for a new ship of health, one captained by patients and not by stakeholders. Continue Reading Interview: Dr. Nortin M. Hadler on The Citizen Patient

Lara Putnam: Families and the Cost of Borders

Some of the deepest costs of our prohibitionist immigration system have to do with family. And they’re not just emotional costs—they’re economic costs as well. Continue Reading Lara Putnam: Families and the Cost of Borders

Excerpt: Commonsense Anticommunism by Jennifer Luff

Doubting the capacity of the law to distinguish between legitimate militancy and subversive radicalism, labor conservatives disapproved of legislation outlawing sedition. Instead they pursued a voluntarist program of evangelizing about the evils of Communism and excluding Communists from AFL unions. In the aftermath of the first Red Scare, labor conservatives formed a crucial backstop against reaction. In the late 1930s, the situation changed. Alienated from the New Deal order and at odds with liberal union leaders in the competing Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO), labor conservatives abandoned commonsense anticommunism for calculated red-baiting. Continue Reading Excerpt: Commonsense Anticommunism by Jennifer Luff

Excerpt: Home Grown, by Isaac Campos

Yet despite today’s typical view of marijuana as a “soft” drug in comparison to, say, the opiates and cocaine, Mexicans of a century ago believed it to be perhaps the “hardest” drug of them all, one that triggered sudden paroxysms and delirious violence. Continue Reading Excerpt: Home Grown, by Isaac Campos

Excerpt: National Insecurities, by Deirdre M. Moloney

Historically, race and gender have had the most significant impact on the creation of immigration policy and its outcomes; but those factors have always been intertwined with larger social concerns about foreign policy and national security, the economy, scientific and medical issues, morality, and attitudes about class, religion, and citizenship. Continue Reading Excerpt: National Insecurities, by Deirdre M. Moloney

Isaac Campos: Today’s Synthetic Drugs Provoking New Reefer Madness

Have the recently reported bizarre behaviors related to synthetic drugs been primarily caused by these chemical compounds or by the set and setting of their ingestion? The answer is still unclear, but history and science suggest that anxiety produced by unfamiliarity with these drugs and the accompanying horror stories in the press are probably contributing in some way. Continue Reading Isaac Campos: Today’s Synthetic Drugs Provoking New Reefer Madness