Best in History Online: The Washington Post's "Made By History"

From time to time, we like to take a moment to highlight fantastic history sites from around the web. These are websites that – much like Origins – seek to bring history into public conversation.

This month, our Best in History Online highlights a political history blog that looks at the historical roots behind today's breaking news.

Made by History Logo.

Made by History is a section of The Washington Post where "historians enter the fray," in order to provide historical context to today's most pressing issues, examine the roots of present debates, and discuss the parallels between current events and the past. The section aims to root today's experiences in a better understanding of American history. It offers news analysis to help its readers think about where we go from here, and takes as its mission the idea that, "In order to make history, we first have to understand how history has made us."

Every day, Made by History features contributions written by historians who hold diverse perspectives and differing viewpoints on topics ranging from the history of democracy and free speech, to labor, taxes, women's issues, race, immigration, and America's role in the world. The section's editors-in-chief are also professional historians: Brian Rosenwald (a historian and senior fellow at the Fox Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania) and Nicole Hemmer (a professor at the University of Virginia's Miller Center). Made by History is co-edited by Kathryn Cramer Brownell (assistant professor of history at Purdue University).

On the left, Brian Rosenwald. In the middle, Nicole Hemmer. On the right, Kathryn Cramer Brownell.

Editors-in-chief Brian Rosenwald (left) and Nicole Hemmer (center), and co-editor Kathryn Cramer Brownell (right).

In addition to providing historical context to today's events, another important mission of the section is to show what historians do. The page aims to combat the tendency to use history as "a tool to advance agendas," by showing how historians attempt to make sense of the past, by debating how and why history has unfolded the way it did, what motivated historical actors, and what the consequences of historical events have been. To aid teachers, Made by History even includes a guide for using their content in the classroom.

You can find contributions to Made by History on their website and learn about the project on their welcome page. You can also follow Made by History by subscribing to their feed, and connect with them on Twitter or via email at:

January, 2018