From Grad School to ‘The Atlantic’ How a history Ph.D. who was on the tenure-track market ended up in journalism – See more at:

David Perry:

nyone who writes articles on the web knows the maxim: “Don’t read the comments.” Fortunately for Yoni Appelbaum, a recent Ph.D. in history from Brandeis University, the well-known writer Ta-Nehisi Coates routinely ignores that rule.

A few years ago, while Appelbaum was supposed to be writing his dissertation, he spent far too much time participating in the lively comment section moderated by Coates at The Atlantic. Coates featured some of Appelbaum’s comments, then invited him to write essays. Appelbaum soon became a correspondent for the magazine. In January, he was announced as the new senior editor for politics.

There’s something perfect about Appelbaum becoming the political editor for a magazine with its origins in mid-19th-century political culture. His academic work examines associative republicanism from 1865 to 1900, which he puns as the “guilded age,” arguing for the centrality of groups like the Knights of Pythias, Chicago Lumber Exchange, Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and more. He brought that expertise in U.S. history, race, voluntary association, and related topics to the highly informed, and well-moderated, community of Coates’s readers.

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