History for the Future

Through interviews with historians and journalists, History for the Future explores the historical roots of contemporary social issues and policies, often revealing the hidden assumptions and political choices defining the present.

By Kevin C. Brown | Poverty
An interview with Professor Maurice Isserman, Michael Harrington's biographer, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Harrington's landmark examination of poverty in America. More
By Kevin C. Brown | Elections, History, Politics
Sophia Rosenfeld, a professor of history at the University of Virginia, discusses “Common Sense: A Political History” as part of the History for the Future project, now being hosted by Remapping Debate. Rosenfeld examines how politicians have used and abused the term “common sense” over a long period of time, and why appeals to common sense need to be scrutinized carefully. More
By Kevin C. Brown | History, Immigration
An interview with Vivian Price, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and a co-producer of a documentary film called, “Harvest of Loneliness: The Bracero Program.” The film explores the trials faced by the migrants who participated in the Bracero Program, a guest-worker system run by the U.S. government between 1942 and 1964, and the interview with Price considers the legacy of the system and calls into question the wisdom of a new, expanded guest-worker program. More
By Craig Gurian | Education, History
NYU history professor Thomas Bender, who has written extensively on the past and future of the profession, discusses how the discipline's current insistence that the only successful outcome of doctoral education is a research-oriented academic career ill-serves students, the profession, and society at large. More
By Kevin C. Brown | Civil rights, History, Race
Nico Slate is an assistant professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University and the author of the book, “Colored Cosmopolitanism: The Shared Struggle for Freedom in the United States and India.” Against a backdrop of a shared world defined by imperialism, racism, and economic inequality, Slate’s work explores the early 20th century movements against Jim Crow and British rule, demonstrating how the struggles shared ideas, rhetoric, and some key figures. More
By Kevin C. Brown | Media, Politics
Robert W. McChesney, a professor of communication at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and host of the weekly radio program on WILL-AM 580, “Media Matters” from 2002 to 2012, discusses the 2012 presidential election, Super-PACs and political ads, as well as the press coverage of the Occupy Movement. More