Who were the Jacobins? What did they believe in, what did they accomplish over the course of the French Revolution, and how should they be judged? Micah Alpaugh discusses the Jacobin clubs’ social and political stances, the policies they enacted, and the Jacobins’ turn toward terror. Micah Alpaugh, ed., The French Revolution: A History in Documents Bloomsbury, 2021 … Continued

Against the Grain

Separating Children as Counterinsurgency

While the Trump Administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the US-Mexico border drew intense condemnation, the practice has been going on in this country for centuries. Historian Laura Briggs argues that it has been part of strategy of counterinsurgency, as during the anti-communist wars in Latin America, in which rebellious populations are … Continued

Bunkering and doomsday prepping, far from being eccentric or fringe activities, are baked into U.S. politics. So argues Emily Ray, who describes how Americans have been encouraged, by both Cold War administrations and today’s political elites, to think of doomsday preparation as an individual rather than collective endeavor, one that involves looking to the market … Continued

A protracted but determined struggle to defeat an airport construction project produced an extraordinary victory. In the face of brutal police repression, Isabelle Fremeaux, Jay Jordan, and others created an autonomous zone and prevented the construction of a massive international airport on 4,000 acres of fields, forest, and wetlands in western France. Fremeaux and Jordan … Continued

Against the Grain

General Strike of the Enslaved

Did Lincoln free the slaves? Or did they just as much free themselves? And what were the ramifications of their seemingly impossible achievement — immediate and uncompensated emancipation — for other oppressed groups? Historian David Roediger discusses that revolutionary period in U.S. history — and the consequences of its failure today. (Encore presentation.) Resources: David … Continued