A Brief History of the Doughnut

Beth Kaiserman

The “doughnut” came to Manhattan under the Dutch name olykoeks, or “oily cakes,” according to a Smithsonian article. In mid-19th century New England, a ship captain’s mother named Elizabeth Gregory made her son fried dough with nuts in the middle to take on his long journeys. Her son lay claim to putting the hole in the middle, possibly to skewer it onto the ship’s wheel as he was steering, or possibly for easier digestion. Others claim the hole was made to cut back on ingredients, or to get rid of the soggy, undercooked center.

Clinton vs. Trump: Thoughts on the Presidential Race

Bob Neuman

It is becoming clear as the election nears that the Clinton base is relatively narrow and getting narrower. The stubborn “Berniecrats” and distrustful independents are a problem with a neat solution in doubt as the election nears. Yet another problem is the early assumption of solid support from non-white Americans has shown to be weaker than expected. The vaunted Clinton ground game may have been limited in key markets by the distraction caused by a much stronger primary campaign that drained assets meant to be used in the massive run-up to the November election.

The War Over Vietnamese Cuisine

Andrew Lam

People take pride in the food they eat, and ethnic communities especially form and retain their identities around their traditional cuisines. What’s Italian without pasta? Or Thai without their Tom Yum Goong? For the Vietnamese, it is, of course, pho soup, that delectable and aromatic noodle dish that has had Vietnamese fighting each other over how best to make it—northerners and southerners have their own interpretation—and pho now finds itself in a controversy over a video made by Bon Appétit featuring a white chef telling people how to enjoy the dish. 

The Jam Music Community’s Biggest Fans? Orthodox Jews

Aryeh Gelfand

Those going off the religious path, or “Derech”, find different ways to cope with the imminent loss of community and purpose leaving brings. Still others, unsatisfied with a life of insularity as they are, bring the spirit of Judaism with them as they journey forth and explore what this world has to offer. These two groups of seekers and adventurers have found a common resting place among the ever growing, vocal, and distinctive subculture known as the Jam music community.

 

A Diverse Emmys Lineup Sends Clear Message to Oscars

Jill Serjeant

Six months after #Oscarssowhite upset the biggest movie awards in the world, television's Emmy lineup is telling a different, far more colorful, story. Some 21 actors across the ethnic spectrum have been nominated for Emmys this year. For the first time in the 68-year history of the biggest honors in television, men of color were nominated in all six lead actor categories.

Treating the Cause (not the Symptom) of Mental Illness

Anna Challet

While policymakers and government officials acknowledge the importance of mental health – the Surgeon General has named it one of his top six priorities – less attention has been paid to the root causes of poor mental health and to creating safe, supportive, and well-resourced neighborhoods and communities for people to live in. Mental health problems often start with difficulties in childhood, and if the work of youth service providers shows anything, it’s that addressing this will require expanding the current notion of what young people need in order to have good mental health. 

Mark Haddon Displays Compelling Fiction in ‘The Pier Falls’

Lee Polevoi

It's difficult to recall encountering another work of short fiction as well-crafted and emotionally devastating as the title story in Mark Haddon's new collection, The Pier Falls. Read first for shock value (and it is shocking), the story demands an immediate second reading for its sheer mastery of detail and timing. “The Pier Falls”– spoiler alert in the title—recounts the spiraling escalation of events when a crowded pier in an English seaside resort town abruptly loses one key load-bearing rivet and then another, paving the way for catastrophe. 

How African-Americans Are Left Out of the Marijuana Boom

Allison Keyes

Earlier this month, the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission awarded stage-one license preapprovals to 15 growers and 15 processors. None of the companies on tap for what are likely to be lucrative growing licenses is led by African Americans. “I think small guys were definitely not welcome to this game,” says Zulu, who says his primary reason for selling marijuana is to help senior citizens like his mother and others find relief from the pain of arthritis, eczema and other ailments. 

Secrets of Quebec City

Barbara Noe Kennedy

Tucked inside centuries’-old fortress walls high above the St. Lawrence River, the capital of La Belle Province beckons with Old World charm. It’s nearly impossible to miss its most famous sights, including the iconic Château Frontenac hotel rising high above the St. Lawrence River in belle-époque splendor; the historic railroad hotel sparkles after a multimillion restoration. And the neighboring Plains of Abraham is where the British won Québec from the French in a pivotal battle in 1759. 

Subscribe to Highbrow Magazine RSS