Good morning, loyal readers! This week’s issue is two parts history, two parts hobbies. The backlash against The 1619 Project continues unabated, and this week’s lead article , a photo essay documenting slave auction sites, serves as a reminder of its importance. History buffs will also want to read
Good morning, loyal readers! This week’s issue is two parts history, two parts hobbies. The backlash against The 1619 Project continues unabated, and this week’s lead article, a photo essay documenting slave auction sites, serves as a reminder of its importance. History buffs will also want to read the second piece, which rebuts the common explanation of mass incarceration over the past 50 years.
If you don’t like history, or you’re looking for a new hobby, head past the fold, where you’ll find potential pastimes, like becoming a busybody and climbing high peaks. Please enjoy!
+ It was an honor to interview Paul Tough, author of The Years That Matter Most, as part of this month’s Article Club. In this podcast episode, Mr. Tough answered our questions about how he wrote and reported “Getting an A,” the heartwarming story of a first-semester college student, her professor, and introductory calculus.
More than 1.2 million men, women, and children were bought and sold in the United States between 1760 and 1860. So common were slave auctions that some people were sold six times in their lives, sometimes split from their families. While 1,800 monuments still exist to extol the Confederacy, most slave auction sites remain unmarked and forgotten. This piece, an addendum to The 1619 Project, aims to prevent history from disappearing. (16 min)
+ Proponents of 1776 should read the part about what happened after Thomas Jefferson died.
I’m a fan of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, which argues that mass incarceration emerged as a racist strategy to maintain a caste system in the United States. But in this well-researched essay, John Clegg offers a different perspective, asserting that the post-World War II baby boom and the rise of suburbanization left cities lacking in jobs and education, which resulted in a rise in violent crime. Instead of investing in social programs, liberals and conservatives agreed on prisons instead. (44 min)
We all have our hobbies. Derek Murphy spends his time exposing marathon cheaters. He has a website and a podcast, where he posts charts, photos, and screenshots to nab course cutters who otherwise would hoodwink their way to the Boston Marathon. It’s all for the integrity of the sport, Derek says. But after his righteous reporting disqualified 70-year-old runner Frank Meza, everything changed. (26 min)
While some people like to expose marathon cheaters, others prefer climbing the face of Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world, then skiing down. After suffering significant loss, Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison found answers to the meaning of life as they entered the Death Zone, the netherworld above 8,000 meters where the body breaks down. “To a large degree, the mountains saved my life,” Jim says. “They created a space for me to thrive and find happiness and feel alive.” (23 min)
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