Two sentences early in Virginia Postrel’s The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World caught my imagination: “What we usually call the Stone Age could just as easily be called the String Age. The two prehistoric technologies were literally intertwined.” I was predisposed to enjoy the book, which combines two of my favorite…

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The Celebrate People’s History project began in 1998. In the dead of the night, activist Josh MacPhee, aided by a half-dozen co-conspirators, pasted images of Malcolm X on boarded-up storefronts in Chicago’s West Side. Ten minutes after they started, they had attracted a small crowd of neighborhood residents. Some of them helped put up posters.…

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