Get Thee to a Phalanstery: or, How Fourier Can Still Teach Us to Make Lemonade

Hot on the heels of the French revolution — by way of extravagant orgies, obscure taxonomies, and lemonade seas — Charles Fourier offered up his blueprint for a socialist utopia, and in the process also one of the most influential early critiques of capitalism. This explores Fourier’s radical, bizarre, and often astonishingly modern ideas, and[…]

Politics and Class, 1790-1794: Radicalism, Terror, and Repression in Southern France

Popular uprisings and resistance to taxation played havoc with the nine departments into which the National Assembly divided Languedoc. Between 1789 and 1793, popular uprisings and resistance to taxation played havoc with the nine departments into which the National Assembly divided Languedoc. Counterrevolutionaries organized a series of military assemblies between 1790 and the spring of[…]

France, 1693: The Year of Battles under Louis XIV

Louis XIV repeatedly reminded his commanders that 1693 had to be viewed as the year of decision. After blundering into the Nine Years War in 1688, it took Louis XIV almost another two years to build the most extensive coalition of opponents he would ever face. Increasingly desperate, the king implemented a variety of strategies[…]

Ancient DNA is Revealing the Origins of Livestock Herding in Africa

Pastoralism is a central part of many Africans’ identity. But how and when did this way of life get started on the continent? Ancient DNA can reveal how herding populations spread. Introduction Visitors to East Africa are often amazed by massive herds of cattle with a gorgeous array of horn, hump and coat patterns. Pastoralism[…]

What Hepatitis B Tells Us about the Migration of Ancient Humans

The viral genetics of Hepatitis B is helping to trace the history and movement of Australia’s first people back at least 51 thousand years. It’s now widely accepted that continental Sahul – the combined landmass of Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania – was settled very early in human history, as anatomically modern humans moved from[…]