The Rest Is History

Vaccines, classical music, and tax avoidance.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, December 17, 2021

Untitled (Music Series), by Alma Thomas, 1978. Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of the artist, 1978.

• “Why is a typeface named Jim Crow?” (The Believer)

• “The Scripps, Mellon, and Mars families are living proof of the triumph of tax avoidance and the durability of dynastic fortunes: their combined wealth today is pegged by Forbes at $114 billion. Over the years, members of all three families have played prominent roles in the modern anti-tax movement and have helped shape tax policy. And in a centurylong cat-and-mouse game, Congress has scrambled to keep up with their tactics.” (ProPublica)

• “As concepts, ‘wilderness’ and ‘the offline’ are deeply enmeshed. Both offer mythologies of ahistoricity and unaccountability, an escape clause from the dilemmas of a globalized world.” (Real Life)

• On Ansel Adams’ photographs of Japanese internment camps: “Viewed today, these images testify how propagandistic efforts to sanitize the American past instead reveal the brutal histories that texture its very landscape.” (Dissent)

• A history of vaccine hesitancy. (The New York Review of Books)

• “The artistic questions facing classical music today go well beyond the simple dualism of keeping or tossing the canon; they revolve most of all around access and the hurdles facing marginalized musicians.” (Boston Review)

• Remembering the massacre at El Mozote. (The Baffler)

• “Genghis Khan died of the plague, researchers suggest.” (

• “Nail Lodged in Skeleton’s Foot Is First Evidence of Crucifixion in England.” (Gizmodo)

• Two new Anne Boleyns. (Jezebel)

• The history, future, and dispiriting present of 311. (The Atlantic)

• This week in obituaries: bell hooks, Anne Rice, Masayuki Uemura, Humphrey Davies, Vicente Fernández, Michael Gargiulo, David Lasley, Shirley McBay, Suzette Winter, Robert Farris Thompson, Charles R. Morris, Linda McAlister, Manuel Santana, Reverend C. Herbert Oliver, Elfrida von Nardroff, and Nai-Ni Chen.