February 13, 2013 In a new book, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography, religious scholar and author John J. Collins tells the history of the scrolls and the controversies they have prompted, and explores the questions they ask and answer about Judeo-Christian history.
February 12, 2013 Presidents use references to great events as a way of acknowledging that what unites Americans is not ethnicity or even language but ideas and a shared past. President Obama cited historical moments in his inaugural; look for similar touchstones at the State of the Union address.
February 12, 2013 The inquiry is aimed at finding out what went wrong and why the captain of the HMS Bounty chose to go to sea despite warnings about Hurricane Sandy.
February 12, 2013 A path to freedom for enslaved blacks, an engine of economic independence, a treat for Mardi Gras revelers. Once you know the fascinating history of this Creole rice fritter, beignets will seem boring by comparison.
February 11, 2013 To some, Detroit may be a symbol of urban decay; but to journalist Charlie LeDuff, it's home. In Detroit: An American Autopsy, he says the city's heart beats on. "We're still here trying to reconstruct the great thing we once had," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.
February 10, 2013 Since the Dalai Lama's exile from Tibet in 1958, reincarnated high lamas have been born in, or exposed to, the West at an increasing rate. Journalist Tim McGirk wrote about the effects of that exposure in this month's issue of The Believer.
February 10, 2013 Decades ago, Bloomingdale's sold goods from China to intrigued American buyers. Today, to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year, the store is doing the opposite: selling goods that cater to the interests of affluent visitors from Asia.
February 8, 2013 The controversy over President Obama's targeted-killings-by-drone policy is a reminder that the default position of presidents in times of crisis is to side with national security over civil liberties. That instinct has been true throughout history, and has been acted on by liberal presidents and core conservatives.
February 8, 2013 Eating foods that symbolize wealth, longevity and fertility is key to the Chinese New Year, which begins this year with a New Year's Eve feast on Feb. 9. And, lucky for us, the northern Chinese tradition of making dumplings late at night has spread throughout the world.
February 8, 2013 Robert Kennedy's 50-mile hike in freezing weather — prompted by a joke his brother President John F. Kennedy made — kicked off the nation's walking and hiking craze. To honor the anniversary of the walk, a group of people plan to follow in his footsteps.