History

157 articles
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1491

The Western Hemisphere before Columbus.

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Fascinating Fascism

On a book of photographs shot by Leni Riefenstahl in the 1950s and 1960s depicting an African tribe.

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Deep into Green

The history of a color.

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The Marquise de Brinvilliers

On Marie-Madeline Marguerite, a 1600s French serial killer.

This is the second installment in The Hairpin's "Lady Killers" series. Previously: "The Blood Countess."

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The Torture Colony

A utopian German settlement in Chile had already turned darkly cultish by the time it became a secret torture site for enemies of the Pinochet regime.

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Mystic Nights

The making of Blonde on Blonde in Nashville.

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Mother Earth Mother Board

A 42,000-word, 3-continent spanning “hacker tourist” account of the laying of the (then) longest wire on earth.

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Bernard Went Fishing with Cicero

A narrator shares a philosophical discussion with the late orator.

"Cicero and I mounted a johnboat banked in the mud along this near finger of Mark Twain Lake. Neither of us wanted to do the shoving off. Our feet would have to get wet."

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Michael Jordan, in general

A brief history of the world and the late 1990s Chicago Bulls.

"This is the version of him that has no future or past. No ex-wife or kids, no off-court life. He lives in the United Center. He doesn't fuss with food or water. There are whole months in the air, between the floor and the rim. This moment of quiet and loud gets stuck on repeat. Michael Jordan shoots, swishes, but a lot of times he just stands, lit. An occasional swivel. Rotates like a figurine. Television size. He could dribble his basketball in the palm of your hand."

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Pafko At the Wall [Excerpt]

The beginning of Don DeLillo's Underworld, in memory of Andy Pafko.

"Pafko is out of paper range by now, jogging toward the clubhouse. But the paper keeps falling. If the early paper waves were slightly hostile and mocking, and the middle waves a form of fan commonality, then this last demonstration has a softness, a selfness. It is coming down from all points, laundry tickets, envelopes swiped from the office, there are crushed cigarette packs and sticky wrap from ice-cream sandwiches, pages from memo pads and pocket calendars, they are throwing faded dollar bills, snapshots torn to pieces, ruffled paper swaddles for cupcakes, they are tearing up letters they've been carrying around for years pressed into their wallets, the residue of love affairs and college friendships, it is happy garbage now, the fans' intimate wish to be connected to the event, unendably, in the form of pocket litter, personal waste, a thing that carries a shadow of identity -- rolls of toilet tissue unbolting lyrically in streamers."

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Gibbeted

On the hanging of James Murphy, murderer.