American history

Whatever America is searching for, Trump isn’t providing it

20 October 2018 9:00 am

America is often seen to represent the search for something – which Trump’s populism is failing to provide. Tim Stanley tries to identify what that elusive thing might be

‘The Illegal Act’: Roosevelt, in a boat named National Recovery, struggles to save Uncle Sam from the Depression. The cartoon appeared in 1935, when the United States Supreme Court declared the National Recovery Administration unconstitutional

What America needs is another Franklin D. Roosevelt

13 January 2018 9:00 am

What America needs is another Franklin D. Roosevelt

Portrait of Ulysses Grant by Ole Peter Hansen Balling

It’s time to rehabilitate Ulysses S. Grant — scorned hero of the Civil War

16 December 2017 9:00 am

Amanda Foreman is in no doubt that Ulysses S. Grant, for all his faults, is one of the great men of history

Edward Winslow visits Massasoit

The Pilgrim Fathers: from persecuted to persecutors

14 October 2017 9:00 am

They were at sea for more than two months in desperately cramped conditions. The battered ship, barely seaworthy, pitched violently…

What exactly was the CIA up to in Laos in the 1960s?

27 May 2017 9:00 am

I once spent an evening, back in the mid-1980s, with William Colby, the legendary spy and director of the CIA.…

An 1850 engraving of slaves fleeing from Maryland to Delaware by way of the Underground Railroad

America’s slaves and the Underground Railroad

15 October 2016 9:00 am

It is difficult to write well about slavery. As with the Holocaust, the subject’s horrific nature lends itself too easily…

Lillian Hellman lied her way through life

5 July 2014 9:00 am

Lillian Hellman must be a maddening subject for a biographer. The author Mary McCarthy’s remark that ‘every word she writes…

Why is Doris Kearns Goodwin raking up old muck?

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Era are well-worn subjects for both professional and amateur historians, so it’s pertinent to ask…

When Britain Burned the White House, by Peter Snow - review

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Peter Snow explains that he decided to look into this extraordinary story when he realised how few people knew about…

The Son, by Philipp Meyer - review

3 August 2013 9:00 am

Colonel Eli McCullough, formerly known as Tiehteti, is a living legend. The first male child born in the Republic of…

Real and imagined danger

11 February 2012 10:00 am

What was the Cold War? For Professor John Lewis Gaddes, it was a conflict between two incompatible systems, democracy and…

A horrid story of intellectual corruption

14 January 2012 11:00 am

The death of a great author often causes interminable displays of corrosive envy. Heirs, acolytes, interpreters and academics resent one…

Far from idealism

6 November 2010 12:00 am

Sam Leith on the chaos and carnage of the American Civil War, in which slavery was always a secondary issue, battles began accidentally and volunteers enlisted on a whim