American Duopoly: A History of Third-Party Challenges to the Two-Party System

As Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s political fortunes fluctuate, Erstwhile editors Beau Driver and Graeme Pente offer an overview of the history of attempts, from both within and without parties, to change the United States’ two-party political system. With the spectacular collapse of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign during the last two weeks, political pundits are…

“A Dangerous Mexican Weed”—Remembering Race and Agriculture in Colorado’s Cannabis History

Erstwhile guest contributor Nick Johnson shares some historical context on the history of marijuana in the Centennial State. Nick is the author of the forthcoming book Grass Roots: An Agricultural History of Cannabis in the American West (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2017). Known to the internet as “The Hempiricist,” he also blogs at Hempirical Evidence and…

Crude Entanglements: The Dakota Access Pipeline Controversy and the Troubling History of Corporations in Indian Country

Erstwhile contributing editor Alessandra Link reveals disturbing parallels between the present-day Dakota Access Pipeline controversy and the long history of covert corporate maneuvering in Indian Country. While mainstream media outlets focus on the legal conflict between the Standing Rock Sioux and the federal government, the oil company itself has slid beyond wide public recognition. Link…

The Flawed Utopia of Consumerism: How Amazon is Delivering the Worst of a Nineteenth-Century Vision of the Future

Erstwhile editor Graeme Pente compares present visions of consumption to late-nineteenth-century predictions for the future and suggests troubling similarities. Early last week, online retail giant Amazon.com, Inc. released an advertisement for its projected Amazon Prime Air – “a future delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using small…

March Links Round-Up

Erstwhile blogger Caroline Grego compiles a short list of history-related news links from the past month, which may or may not be exactly from March. Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Visualization by Matthew Burdumy and Professor Adam Rothman This website is not an article, but it is a valuable teaching tool and, technically, a “link.”  Matt…

California’s Response to Historic Drought: Too Little Too Late?

Erstwhile’s Sara Porterfield gives her thoughts on California’s new water restrictions and the prescient historians who anticipated the West’s current drought.  This past Wednesday California Governor Jerry Brown announced the state’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions in response to the severe drought gripping the state. While snowpack throughout the American West is at a record low, snowpack in…