Robert Morris’s Folly

The architectural and financial failures of an American Founder.

Robert Morris’s Folly How Robert Morris went from being an essential to nearly-forgotten Founding Father. Read More


The Twenty-Seventh of May 1977

Angola’s forgotten massacre.

The Twenty-Seventh of May 1977 Journalist Lara Pawson attempts to explain what happened in Angola on 27 May 1977—and its profound effect on the Angolan people in the decades since. Read More


Statue of Liberty: The Untold Story

Statue of Liberty: The Untold Story

Elizabeth Mitchell, author of “Liberty’s Torch,” dispels long-standing myths about the most recognizable statue in the world.

The Statue of Liberty was not a gift from the French government, for one. Read More

United Flight 232

United Flight 232

Laurence Gonzales, author of “Flight 232,” looks back at the cause of the crash, and how the accident led to advances in disaster response.

Twenty-five years ago this month, United Airlines Flight 232—scheduled from Denver to Philadelphia via Chicago—crash-landed at Sioux Gateway Airport in Sioux City, Iowa, killing 112 people. The outcome could have been worse. Read More

This Day in Failure

October 22nd

2008: Ashley Todd, a volunteer for John McCain’s Republican presidential campaign, reports that a “six-foot-four black man” robbed her at knifepoint, and after seeing a McCain sticker on her car, supposedly said: “You are going to be a Barack [Obama] supporter,” before cutting a backwards “B” into her cheek with a dull knife. Later, it is revealed...

More from October 22

Another day in Failure.  

Failure Analysis

You can buy a Zimbabwean one hundred trillion dollar bill on the street in Zimbabwe for five American dollars. More

How concerned are you about the possibility of a widespread Ebola epidemic?

We fought—we fought as hard as we could. And though we feel short, the failure is mine, not yours.

- Sen. John McCain, addressing supporters during his concession speech after losing the presidential election to Barack Obama