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Jarret Ruminski

Jarret Ruminski is an independent scholar who holds a PhD in American history from the University of Calgary. He specializes in the 19th century U.S. with emphasis on the Civil War and the American South. You can read more of his writing at his blog, That Devil History, where he discusses the intersection of American history and contemporary politics and popular culture. Connect with him on Twitter@TheDevilHistory

The Mighty Turkey: An American Historical Icon

Thanksgiving is fast descending on the American landscape. At the end of November, millions of Americans, fueled by an unquenchable passion for gluttony-based nostalgia, will sharpen their carving knives and engage in the mass ritual slaughter of turkeys in the name of a national feast that puts any pyramid-topped, beating heart extirpating, ancient Aztec sun-god sacrifice to shame. Yes, it’s …

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The “Knockout” Game, Race, and Fears of Urban Crime in American History

The idea that cities are havens of delinquency populated by morally deprived low-lifes is a longstanding notion in American history. But whatever the current level of crime in American cities, the denser, ethnically-mixed populations of urban areas has ensured that the cultural meme of “cities as havens of vice” has remained perennially popular. The latest fear of urban crime comes …

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The GOP, Government Shutdown, and the History of Killing Political Legitimacy

The situation was intense. The conservative party in America, its base strongest in the South, had recently suffered a devastating electoral defeat in which a progressive lawyer from Illinois won the presidency along mostly sectional lines. In response to the electoral rebuke of their policies, the conservative party decided that rather than accept the outcome of the election, they would …

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