Does Google Make the State Stronger?

When the news broke that Google and Microsoft had shared user data with the NSA, it provoked angry editorials and impassioned discussions about privacy. Just how closely technology companies collaborated with the American government remains unclear, but it raises the fascinating issue of how much the power of the state depends on coopeartion from people and organizations within society. At a recent CHESS … More Does Google Make the State Stronger?

How European Culture Became Global

How did we come to imagine ourselves as part of a wider world? Before Facebook and Google Maps, people read epic poems and hand-drawn maps. In this video, CHESS Associate Director Ayesha Ramachandran discusses her new book, World Makers and the fascinating history about how European culture became global in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries:…/worldmakers-global-imagin…

CHESS Chart: Reading History through Interest Rates

No one would call government bond yields sexy, but sometimes its the arcane details that move history. While most people were focusing on the antics of the New Hampshire primary, the Bank of Japan lowered interest rates below zero on some of its accounts. What followed was near panic in the bond market and a further decline in sovereign debt … More CHESS Chart: Reading History through Interest Rates

Best Books of 2015

Happy New Year! In honor of the start of 2016, I offer my favorite CHESS-related books of 2015. These books were picked because they not only cross disciplinary boundaries, but because they use history to tell us something important about the world we inhabit today. What are some of the best books that you’ve read … More Best Books of 2015

CHESS Chart: Do Books Cause Revolutions?

CHESS hosts Robert Darnton this Friday (Whitney Humanities Center, 208 @ 12:30) for a conversation about his most recent project, A Literary Tour of France. The site captures the supply and demand of literature in France during the Enlightenment and on the eve of the French Revolution. The story told here is one not just of brilliant … More CHESS Chart: Do Books Cause Revolutions?