GARY M. FEINMAN – The New Gilded Age, wars along the Russian border, a global pandemic, battles for women’s rights, even the Titanic: history does rhyme with the present. Yet as former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert once observed: “If history tells us anything, it’s that we never learn from history.”
JUSTIN PODUR – Currency systems reflect power relations in the world: they don’t change them. The Anglo gold standard and the American dollar standard reflected imperial monopoly power for centuries. In a multipolar world, however, we should expect more diverse arrangements.
SHEILA XAIO and MANOLO DE LOS SANTOS – For the Americas, which are on the cusp of transformative times, the age of the Monroe Doctrine is over.
BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA SANTOS – More than 100 years after World War I, Europe’s leaders are sleepwalking toward a new all-out war. In 1914, the European governments believed that the war would last three weeks; it lasted four years and resulted in more than 20 million deaths. The same nonchalance is visible with the war in Ukraine.
ERIKA SHELBY – Pointing fingers wonâ€™t helpâ€”an attitude shift is what the world needs now.
SOMALI KOLHATKAR – Masses of refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere have faced racially motivated hostility in Europe. Now, Ukraineâ€™s refugee crisis is revealing Western double standards.
EBONY SLAUGHTER-JOHNSON – The anger surrounding teaching children a more expansive (and truthful) version of American history can largely be understood as a backlash to the Black Lives Matter era, the victories of which have been largely symbolic and localized. The legislative entrenchment of affirmative action will be spun by conservatives as â€œreverse racismâ€ that hampers the educational advancement of white children. That argument will hold traction among conservatives, moderates, and progressives. As we prepare for the possibility of a post-Roe future, it might also be time to anticipate a future in which affirmative action is unavailable as a means of promoting diversity in and economic mobility through higher education.
WILLIAM LOREN KATZ: In less than a year the battle for truth has lost three of its most innovative and stalwart voices, historians John Hope Franklin, Ivan Van Sertima and Howard Zinn. Each challenged aspects of the cheerfully bigoted narrative that has passed for history in schools, colleges, texts and the media. Each created works that made history by awakening millions of fellow citizens to a new host of heroic men and women whose daring contributions had been shamefully ignored.
TOM H. HASTINGS: Howard Zinn has crossed over. He was a mensch, a historian and a peace and justice activist. He was not convinced that nonviolence was always the answer, but he often provided expert testimony for nonviolent resisters seeking help in conducting a robust defense of their actions in opposition to militarism and injustice.
VALERIE SATUREN: With the rising power of Hamas and a rightward shift in Israeli politics, a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians appears farther out of reach than it has in decades. Meanwhile, the window of opportunity is closing on a two-state solution to the conflict.