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

Pete Seeger in 1955 (Photo: Frank Palumbo/Library of Congress)
January 28, 2014 | Blog

Our senior writer remembers what the folksinger’s music meant to him. Continue reading

Illustration from 1902 Scribner edition of Mody Dick. (Image: I. W. Taber)
January 27, 2014 | Blog

Two characters from Herman Melville’s novels foretold the dangerous future of American empire. Continue reading

In this July 12, 2013 file photo, abortion rights supporters rally on the floor of the State Capitol rotunda in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa, File)
January 22, 2014 | Blog

Writer Janet Reitman takes a look at the changing tactics of the anti-abortion movement for Rolling Stone. Continue reading

Reflection of semi-truck in side view mirror with plane flying above (Photo by: Tetra Images/AP Images)
January 21, 2014 | Blog

Americans aren’t moving much, and when they do they’re leaving the places with the most opportunity. Continue reading

MLK
January 20, 2014 | Activism

Nearly 50 years after his death it is King’s words and deeds that live on in the American memory — not that of the racists who hated him or the Black Power advocates who scorned him. Continue reading

A man cycles past old portraits of late communist leader Mao Zedong on the wall of an alley in Shanghai, China. Worn out portraits and slogans from the 1960s and 1970s, when Mao's cult of personality was at its peak, can still be found across China. (AP Photo)
January 18, 2014 | Blog

The blogosphere was abuzz this week after a former Red Guard member apologized for her behavior during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. A journalist who covered South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission thinks China should consider implementing one of its own. Continue reading

January 16, 2014 | Blog

Surveillance expert Heidi Boghosian says Obama’s plans for reforming America’s spying program could either help to restore public trust in government or “thin the lifeblood” of our democracy. Continue reading

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January 14, 2014 | Blog

Bill discusses our country’s most successful effort to cut poverty with another veteran of that fight, Peter Edelman, who is today one of the leading experts on poverty. Continue reading

Ronald Reagan gives a televised address from the Oval Office, outlining his plan for Tax Reduction Legislation in July 1981.
January 10, 2014 | Blog

Republicans have pursued a divide-and-conquer strategy intended to convince working-class whites that the poor were their enemies. It’s starting to backfire. Continue reading

President Lyndon B. Johnson speaks at a news conference at the White House in Washington, Feb. 1, 1964.  (AP Photo/John Rous)
January 8, 2014 | Blog

The war on poverty helped raise millions above the poverty line, but where do we stand today? Continue reading

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,  Feb. 7, 1968 promised a massive demonstration this spring in Washington and hinted the crusade may be extended to the political party conventions in August. King, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said the demonstration in Washington will last for weeks and maybe for months. At left is the Rev. Andrew Young, executive Vice President of the Southern Conference. (AP Photo)
January 7, 2014 | Blog

The arc of justice is long and mysterious, but it’s there. Continue reading

John and Bonnie Raines, two of the burglars, at home in Philadelphia. (Photo: Mark Makela for The New York Times)
January 7, 2014 | Activism

Vietnam war activists knew they were being watched, infiltrated and undermined by the FBI. But they didn’t know the extent of the agency’s efforts. Continue reading

(AP Photo/David Goldman)
December 31, 2013 | Blog

Could a recent Supreme Court decision give juvenile lifers a second chance? Continue reading

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December 26, 2013 | Blog

It may be counterintuitive, but the long arc of history is bending the right way. Continue reading

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December 20, 2013 | Moyers & Company

Lawyer and activist Michelle Alexander tells Bill about an emerging movement that aims to end mass incarceration and its impact on America. Continue reading

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