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"I have a confession to make: I’m a presidential historian who dislikes Presidents’ Day."

"James Madison, who wrote the first drafts of the U.S. Constitution, sponsored the Bill of Rights, and served as the fifth Secretary of State and the fourth President, was America’s least fun Founding Father."

Some lessons for Joe Biden from the ’70s presidents who lived it.

Sure, the American Revolution was hard on England. But this declaration of independence has Instagram.

If the Anti-Flirt activists of the early 20th century had gotten their way, cheeky advances and drive-by flirting would today be things of the past.

After a car rolls off the road and into the river near Alexis Coe's cabin, the neighbors mobilize to save the driver and clean up the mess. The scene is reminiscent of another tragedy in the redwoods, which dates all the way back to 1947. Turns out that when a tree falls in the forest, it makes a long-lasting community.

Included in The Best American Travel Essays

Striking Out


Rolling through the West in search of the American dream.

Included in The Best American Essays

"As an American historian, I’ve long relied on presidential biographies for edification and pleasure."

What will it take for a woman to obtain the highest office in the land? While pundits debate Nikki Haley's chances, historian Alexis Coe looks back at a speech former President Gerald Ford gave to a group of children and wonders if he—and whole bunch of film and TV writers—was right all along.

"Presidential history is lousy with ne’er-do-well sons."

"But there’s a much bigger problem with the bathtub story: It’s not true — and yet we seem to be totally fine, if not downright overjoyed, repeating it."

“'Are they Jewish?' my grandfather asked. It was his favorite question, and one of his most frequent, even when 'they' were complete strangers who had been dead for half a century or more — as was the case with the photograph of an immigrant family of ten, with one daughter and seven sons."

In Differ We Must, Steve Inskeep traces the evolution of the Great Emancipator by showing how he learned from others

Every group of literary ladies needs a leader...

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