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In this 15th-century German print, rabbis read from the Haggadah, the tale of the Exodus that Jews consult at the beginning of Passover. Thanks to an early theological shift that required all Jewish males to study the central texts called the Torah, literacy spread among Jews long before it did among Christians and Muslims. Photo via The Granger Collection, NYC.

The secret to early Jewish success: literacy.

Photo of Cabrini-Green public housing project in Chicago by gmilldrum via flickr

Moving poor people to better neighborhoods has a surprising effect.

Photo of graduating George Washington University students by Glyn Lowe via Flickr

Kids tend to let their grades slip when parents pay their college tuition bills.

Did genetic diversity play a decisive role in determining which lands would hit the economic jackpot?

Patent drawing of a shopping cart by John V. Ondrasik via

Patents used to protect intellectual property. Now they stifle innovation.

Photo of Arlington Cemetary gravestones via U.S. Department of Defense

Until the Civil War, hasty burials on the battlefield were the norm.

Pulling back from America’s global commitments would amount to a “massive experiment.”

Photo of a mushroom cloud from a 1953 atomic bomb test by U.S. Department of Defense

America’s Cold War wizards botched many predictions. But that was often for the better.

U.S. President Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan on December 8, 1941. Photo via Associated Press

Congress is surrendering its Constitutional powers to the president.

Photo of Tea Party protest by Sage Ross via Flickr

A growing number of Americans don’t identify with either political party.