How the Yazoo Land Scandal changed American history

Without the now-obscure land investment affair, Georgia might have been a "super state."

Credit: New Georgia Encyclopedia via public domain
  • Few people today are familiar with the Yazoo Land Scandal, which broke in the mid-1790s.
  • Yet it sent shockwaves through American public life, influencing politics, law, and even geography.
  • Without it, Georgia could have been a "super state" — and the Trail of Tears might not have happened.
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The cult of disruptive innovation: Where America went wrong

In business and in technology, just because you can doesn't mean you should.

  • 'Disruptive innovation' is a dangerous buzzword.
  • There's a world of difference between progress and prosperity.
  • Historian Jill Lepore believes she can pinpoint the moment America went off the rails.
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Map of political book sales shows a polarized nation

The states with golden stars on them are extra intriguing.

Barnes & Noble
  • Barnes & Noble reported a 57% increase in political book sales compared to 2017.
  • The top three best-selling political books of 2018 have been mostly critical of President Donald Trump, though each state varies in which political books it buys most.
  • Despite the boost in sales, Barnes & Noble could put itself up for sale in the near future.
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Revenge of the tribes: How the American Empire could fall

Yale professor Amy Chua on the identity of nations, why hardened tribes end up in civil wars, and why you can't just replace dictators with democracy.

Yale professor Amy Chua has two precautionary tales for Americans, and their names are Libya and Iraq. "We're starting to see in America something that I've seen in other countries that is not good," says Chua. "We don't want to go there. We don't want to get to the point where we look at people on the other side of the political spectrum and we see them not just as people that we disagree with but literally as our enemy, as immoral, "un-American" people." Tribalism is innate to humanity, and it is the glue that holds nations together—but it's a Goldilocks conundrum: too much or too little of it and a nation will tear at the seams. It becomes most dangerous when two hardened camps form and obliterate all the subtribes beneath them. Chua stresses the importance of "dividing yourself so that you don't get entrenched in just two terrible tribes." Having many identities and many points of overlap with fellow citizens is what keeps a country's unity strong. When that flexibility disappears, and a person becomes only a Republican or a Democrat—or only a Sunni Muslim or a Shia Muslim, as in Iraq—that's when it's headed for danger. In this expansive and brilliant talk on political tribes, Chua explains what happens when minorities and majorities clash, why post-colonial nations are often doomed to civil war, and why you can't just replace dictators with democracy.

Norway Voted to Decriminalize All Drugs. Should America Follow Suit?

Norway’s decision to push drug felons through treatment is a huge step forward.

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