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How Texas progressives’ blue dreams for their red state again became a hunt for the white whale of U.S. politics

Once again, in the aftermath of the 2020 election, dreams of a Blue Texas remain just that – dreams. And thus, a Blue Texas...

‘Caste,’ an election and the resonance of racism below the surface of liberal, progressive America

Review: Caste– The Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson, 2020, 475 pp., Random House As the razor-edged finale to a presidential election riven by ambiguity reaches...

Owning the American Dream, ending the trap of rent servitude

Homeownership is generally considered a staple of the American dream, symbolizing individual freedom, financial security, political representation, and access to community. Strongly rooted in...

Life at the end of the ‘Age of Miracles’ — a look at why progress itself makes plagues and pandemics more likely and devastating

Review: Plagues and the Paradox of Progress – Why the World is Getting Healthier in Worrisome Ways, by Thomas J. Bollyky, 2018, 280 pp.,...

The Renewal Series - Coping with COVID-19

Tales of the Global City

How Texas progressives’ blue dreams for their red state again became a hunt for the white whale of U.S. politics

Once again, in the aftermath of the 2020 election, dreams of a Blue Texas remain just that – dreams. And thus, a Blue Texas...

Despite hyper-partisan discourse about cities, the fates of urban, suburban and rural America are thoroughly intertwined

Though much of our idealist art, iconography, and symbolism paints the American story as a tale of rustic pastoralism and life on the frontier,...

Beyond the pandemic, look for Austin’s creative energy to rival the ‘Roaring Twenties’ of a century ago

Not so fast, argues the head of iconic Austin City Limits to those who fear the pandemic will sweep away both the city’s claim...

Cybertrucks on the Colorado – how Tesla’s Gigafactory can save Austin’s urban river

In the middle of this summer’s second wave COVID-19 outbreak, the Chamber of Commerce boosters of Austin, Travis County and Del Valle pulled a...

Views & Reviews

How to make America radical again (and how to remember that in fact it always has been)

In this wide-ranging conversation, Urbānitūs Associate Editor Robert Brehm and Professor Harvey J. Kaye thumb through the pages of Take Hold of Our History:...

America’s zero-sum, tooth-and-nail political battlescape in the microcosm of Wisconsin

Editor's note: In light of America's nail-biting election now down to the tedious count of ballots in the upper Midwest, we are republishing this...

Owning the American Dream, ending the trap of rent servitude

Homeownership is generally considered a staple of the American dream, symbolizing individual freedom, financial security, political representation, and access to community. Strongly rooted in...

Misremembering Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X – how America rewrote a legacy

Review: The Sword and the Shield – The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., by Peniel E. Joseph, 2020, 373 pp., Basic...

Life at the end of the ‘Age of Miracles’ — a look at why progress itself makes plagues and...

Review: Plagues and the Paradox of Progress – Why the World is Getting Healthier in Worrisome Ways, by Thomas J. Bollyky, 2018, 280 pp.,...

There is a reason cities are outpacing national governments in the face of COVID-19

Review: The Nation City – Why Mayors Are Now Running the World, by Rahm Emanuel, 2020, 235 pp., Alfred A. Knoph America’s first death attributed to...

Why can’t we price for externalities?

Last November, Austin lost Freddie’s Place, a funky bar, barbecue joint, outdoor music pavilion and children’s playground all rolled into one. The restaurant had been closed...

A tale of all cities written in the history of America’s rivers and water

Review: The Source – How Rivers Made America and America Remade its Rivers, by Martin Doyle, 2018, 349 pp., W.W. Norton & Company Martin Doyle’s...

When That Day Comes

We’re waiting for the day when we can say, it’s over, foreverWe’re tired of all the lies, and all the guys who’ve gone to...

By Allergy and Allegory

There is a ghostland somewhere near Of spirits of the Earth And aging oxygenated dirt And there is hope and there is hate But no one ever shows up late

1,006/133

The border of Mexico is exactly 1,006 miles away from the hospital where I was born. Which means that had I been born, say, 1,007 miles to the south my destiny would be aligned under very different stars.

For John Lewis 1940-2020

O holy martyr when you crossed the river to be beaten by the state troopers of the Promised Land O redeemer of Dixieland when you felt the clubs touch skin and blood and blood touch dirt