What the Sterilization of a Wealthy White Woman Reveals About Eugenics

Throughout history, white women have thrown the rights of other women under the bus in order to retain social status. In her first book, The Unfit Heiress: The Tragic Life and Scandalous Sterilization of Ann Cooper Hewitt (out today from Grand Central Publishing), Audrey Clare Farley writes about the life of one such woman: Ann Cooper Hewitt, a wealthy white socialite and the daughter of inventor Peter Cooper Hewitt and his wife, Maryon.

The Royal Spy Who Became the Feminist Answer to Shakespeare

In 1695, theater audiences in Britain were riveted by the debut of a tale about two star-crossed lovers. After a bloody two-year war, Prince Oroonoko went to pay his respects to Imoinda, the daughter of a general who had died during the war. He brought slaves with him as a gift for the deceased general’s daughter, “trophies of her father’s victories.” Upon meeting the charming and beautiful Imoinda, Prince Oroonoko promptly fell in love. The two were engaged to be married, until Oroonoko’s grandfather, the King of Coromantee — in modern-day Ghana — became smitten with Imoinda as well. The elderly king, who already had many wives, moved Imoinda into his harem and decreed that she was to marry him.

How the IWW Grew after the Centralia Tragedy

On November 11, 1919, tensions came to a head between members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)—known as the Wobblies—and members of the American Legion in Centralia, Washington, at the first Armistice Day parade after World War I. The conflict between the two groups was deep-seated. The American Legion had been chartered as a patriotic veteran’s organization just after the war. Meanwhile, the IWW had opposed U.S. participation; it was the only American labor organization to do so. A

Anti-Imperialist Propaganda Posters from OSPAAAL

On January 3, 1966, 513 delegates representing 83 groups from countries across Latin America, Asia, and Africa gathered in Havana, Cuba for the first Tricontinental Conference. The meeting was organized by Moroccan politician Mehdi Ben Barka who was killed in 1965 before the conference took place. In attendance were two anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist groups, the Non-Aligned Movement—an organization of countries not associated with any power blocs—and the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Orga

The Indigenous Rebel Who Took the Fight to White Settlers

The rebellion would lead to Riel’s downfall, but it would also have a lasting impact on Canadian politics and Indigenous rights. Riel remains one of the most controversial figures in Canada’s history. In most accounts of the country’s history, he has been presented as a villain — a violent Indigenous rebel who challenged the Canadian government. But now, as Manitoba, the province he helped found, reaches its 150th anniversary this month, and as activists put a spotlight on Canada’s suppression of Indigenous rights — like their recent attempt to shut down and arrest Indigenous people protesting a pipeline on Wet’suwet’en land — the time has come for a reexamining of Louis Riel’s legacy.

The Pope Who Wrote an Erotic Novel

Aeneas Silvius Bartholomeus caught the attention of King Frederick III of Germany, the future Holy Roman Emperor, with his talent for words. King Frederick named Bartholomeus poet laureate in 1442 and commissioned him to write his own royal biography. The king may not have known that Bartholomeus had a far less regal side interest. According to Absolute Monarchs, by historian John Julius Norwich, over the next three years, while working in the royal chancery in Vienna, Bartholomeus wrote a large amount of “mildly pornographic poetry.” And then there was his magnum opus: The Tale of Two Lovers, or Historia de duobus amantibus, an erotic novel that he penned in 1444. This dalliance with erotic literature is even more surprising given that Bartholomeus later took on a much more high-profile position: In 1458, he become Pope Pius II.
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