Indy

Every spring thirty million Americans watch the Indianapolis 500. It’s the nation’s premier racing event and the pinnacle of a glamorous, murderous epic that stretches back nearly a century.

May is a month of traditions: of flowers and commencements, of the Kentucky Derby for 117 years and Indianapolis five-hundred-mile races for 81. For an automobile race, Indy is ancient. Back in 1911 it was an all-day affair, as the winner covered five hundred miles in six hours and forty-two minutes. These days winners complete the distance in less than three hours, the same oval unraveling for a driver with the same turns, banks, and exhilarating straights.Read more »

“as Warm A Heart As Ever Beat”

Gene Debs was America’s leading socialist, but just about everyone agreed he had

In the decades before the First World War he was the most dynamic, persuasive, and at the same time the most lovable figure that American Socialism had produced. He hated capitalism but could hate no man. Hoosier-born, he combined in his gangling person a rural nativist populism and the class-conscious zeal of the urban foreign-born worker.Read more »