Thomas Jefferson

Whether it is Jimmy Carter watching more than 400 movies in the White House cinema or Barack Obama telling people that the flamboyant killer Omar on HBO’s “The Wire” is his favorite character, presidents have long engaged with pop culture. The content of that pop culture, however, has changed dramatically over the years—as has what it reveals.

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Whether it is Jimmy Carter watching more than four hundred movies in the White House cinema or Barack Obama telling people that the flamboyant killer Omar on HBO’s “The Wire” is his favorite character, presidents have long engaged with pop culture. The content of that pop culture, however, has changed dramatically over the years—as has what it reveals.

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How Alexander Hamilton and a Swiss anti-Federalist created our country's capitalist system.

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If Obama wins in November, we will have the first run of three consecutive presidents who've won re-election since the early 1800s.

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Big Chief

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Many public universities are suffering these days, wracked by budget cuts and struggling to bring enough students through the door. The University of Virginia isn’t one of them. A $5 billion endowment makes it the wealthiest public university, per capita, in the United States. Over 28,000 students applied for admission last year, a record high. The stately campus, a classic of red brick and white colonnade, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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A few months ago, I wrote a cover story about the big hedge fund managers who, after feeling a special bond with Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008, are now contributing heavily to Mitt Romney and the Republicans. A classic example of this type is Paul Tudor Jones, a highly successful Greenwich fund manager who was an early Obama backer last time around but has already given more than $200,000 to Romney's SuperPAC, Restore Our Future. Well, it looks like Mr.

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The Dream of Law

Law in American History, Volume I: From the Colonial Years Through the Civil WarBy G. Edward White (Oxford University Press, 565 pp., $39.95)  G. Edward White is one of America’s most eminent legal historians. He has written fifteen books, many of which have won awards and honors.

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Horace Mann, Antichrist?

I wrote a blog post recently expressing shock that Rick Santorum would attack public education at the state level--an attack he later repeated in the Feb. 22 debate ("not only do I believe the federal government should get out of the education business, I think the state government should start to get out of the education business"). Santorum was attacking an idea traceable to Thomas Jefferson that was later put into action by Horace Mann, the great educational reformer of the early 19th century.

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Judge Mental

Newt Gingrich’s attack on judicial independence—in particular, his call for Congress to subpoena judges and force them to explain their rulings under threat of arrest—is widely viewed as one of the reasons his now-moribund presidential campaign jumped the shark. Both conservative and liberal pundits were alarmed by Gingrich’s assault on the concept of judicial review, and rightly so. But, if Gingrich’s judge-bashing was extreme, it was not an isolated phenomenon.

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