"Raising the Flag," May 1861. Historian Heather Cox Richardson connects our country's present to our past in her online newsletter, "Letters from an American."

"Raising the Flag," May 1861. Historian Heather Cox Richardson connects our country's present to our past in her online newsletter, "Letters from an American."

Sometimes taking the long view on current events is just what we need. Or that’s the opinion of Heather Cox Richardson, a professor of history at Boston College, focusing on 19th Century America.

During Donald Trump’s first impeachment, she started writing summaries of the day’s events, with an eye toward historical context. Her posts quickly found an audience that seemed hungry for a perspective that went beyond the headlines.

Those nightly posts eventually became the online newsletter, “Letters from an American.” In it, Richardson writes about the news through the lens of history. For example, the connection between power outages in Texas and Ronald Reagan’s deregulation campaign, or how this political moment feels like the 1850s, or perhaps the 1890s.

Diane talked to Richardson about how she uses the past to help her readers understand the present.

Guests

  • Heather Cox Richardson History professor, Boston College; author of the online newsletter "Letters from an American" and the book "How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America"

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