Déjà Vu All Over Again

J’Accuse!

As I’ve mentioned before here on the Margins, one of the weird facts about historical research (or maybe just about life in general) is that once a person or idea has come to your attention you find references to him/it/them everywhere. Lately the Dreyfus Affair has been popping up in my life. In email conversations…

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Word with a Past: Gerrymander

  If Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814) had played his cards right, he could have been a minor but respected figure in American history. He signed the Declaration of Independence, helped draft the Bill of Rights, served two terms in Congress, and was the fifth Vice President of the United States. His contemporaries thought him intelligent, gentlemanly,…

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Déjà Vu All Over Again: Evil May Day

In the spring of 1517, working class Londoners were suffering from the effects of an economic downturn, caused in part by an expensive war against France and in part by a hard winter. Artisans and merchants alike complained that foreigners enjoyed unfair advantages that allowed them to take work and trade away from Englishmen. The…

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