History

An understanding of our history is as crucial to a successful democratic society as it is essential to the well-examined life of the individual. As historian Howard Zinn told Bill Moyers, “I think the more people learn about the past… the more that they will understand that it is possible for people to change the world.” Start your understanding with some of the series and specials below.

EXPLORE History

An illustrative 1996 cover story urges Bill Clinton to sign welfare reform in The New Republic.
March 6, 2014 | Blog

Princeton political scientist Martin Gilens explains how the media and longstanding racial stereotypes impact anti-poverty policy. Continue reading

Kay Hohler, of West Des Moines, Iowa, sings the national anthem before the start of a Tea Party rally on the steps of the Iowa Statehouse, Thursday, April 15, 2010, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
March 5, 2014 | Blog

Harvard scholar Theda Skocpol says that rumors of its demise have been greatly exaggerated. Continue reading

President Bush, center, stands over a map as he is briefed at Al-Asad Airbase in Anbar province, Iraq, Monday, Sept. 3, 2007. President Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq on Monday, using the war zone as a backdrop to argue his case that the buildup of U.S. troops is helping stabilizing the nation. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
March 4, 2014 | Blog

The US isn’t getting any less powerful, but its power is growing more irrelevant. Continue reading

Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., grabs hold of his opponent's supporter as he departs his voting precinct in Raleigh, N.C., in this Nov. 6, 1990 photo. (AP Photo/Bob Jordan)
February 28, 2014

Ian Haney López highlights six political ads from the last three decades that used racially coded language to help a candidate get elected. Continue reading

Ronald Reagan speaking at a Boston insurance meeting in 1976 said he wanted to revamp the party, possibly changing its name, and lead an aggressive drive to strengthen the two-party system. (AP Photo/J Walter Green)
February 27, 2014 | Blog

In this video clip, Ian Haney López recalls how “the great communicator” used racial tensions to sway middle-class white Americans to vote for policies not in their self-interest. Continue reading

Ian Haney Lopez-0899CROPPED
February 26, 2014 | Moyers & Company

Author and legal scholar Ian Haney López talks to Bill about how politicians use race to influence your vote. Watch the full show. Continue reading

Mike Lofgren
February 21, 2014 | Moyers & Company

Former GOP congressional analyst Mike Lofgren talks to Bill about America’s “Deep State,” in which elected and unelected figures collude to serve powerful vested interests. Also, an exclusive essay on the Deep State, by Lofgren. Continue reading

The U.S. Capitol is seen in Washington, Monday, June 17, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
February 21, 2014 | Blog

In a must-read essay, former GOP congressional analyst Mike Lofgren analyzes America’s “Deep State,” in which elected and unelected figures collude to serve powerful vested interests. Continue reading

Mike LofgrenCROPPED
February 20, 2014

This week, former GOP Congressional Analyst Mike Lofgren joins Bill to talk about what he calls our “deep state,” in which elected and unelected figures collude to serve powerful vested interests. Watch the full show. Continue reading

Workers assemble Volkswagen Passat sedans at the German automaker's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. Workers at the plant will decide in a three-day vote Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, whether they want to be represented by the United Auto Workers union. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, file)
February 17, 2014 | Blog

Many lessons can be learned from the union election at the Tennessee VW factory. One especially important one concerns how “outside influence” works so one-sidedly in the United States. Continue reading

Ronald Reagan gives a televised address from the Oval Office, outlining his plan for Tax Reduction Legislation in July 1981.
February 12, 2014 | Blog

The former labor secretary opines on the most important economic lessons we learned in the 30 years following World War II. Continue reading

A TV screen shows a news report of Edward Snowden at a shopping mall in Hong Kong Sunday, June 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)
February 11, 2014 | Blog

What will it take to change a democracy driven by fear? Continue reading

Beatles invasion flight relived
February 8, 2014 | Blog

Our senior writer reflects on the transformative British band’s first visit to America. Continue reading

David Simon
February 4, 2014 | Blog

Watch clips from Bill’s interview with David Simon, journalist and creator of The Wire in which he talks the “astonishing” rise of libertarianism, the tragedy of capitalism and why he’s want push politicians to the curb. Continue reading

Pete Seeger
January 31, 2014 | Blog

In these clips from interviews with Bill Moyers, Seeger discusses dissent, environmentalism and his hope for a better world. Continue reading

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