Happy Sunday – and welcome to the best of The Conversation.

Here are a few of our recently published stories:

This weekend marks 160 years since the bloodiest battle ever fought in the U.S., the Battle of Gettysburg. The three-day fight left more than 50,000 soldiers dead, wounded or missing and is often cited as the turning point in the Civil War.

The battlefield was also the location of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which begins with the unforgettable words “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” The president went on to thank “those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.”

In one of last week’s reader picks, political scientist Alauna Safarpour describes her investigations into how legacies of the Civil War still affect Americans’ support for political violence today.

“Nowhere close to a majority of Americans are ready to take up arms to overthrow the government,” Safarpour writes. “However, as the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol demonstrated, even a small minority of people intent on violence can cause serious harm to the nation.”

Later this week, we’ll bring you stories about the evolving meaning of “We the People,” the fluctuating value of Beanie Babies and why E. coli is not an ideal model organism.

Emily Costello

Managing Editor

Readers' picks

Members of the Wagner Group sit atop a tank in a street in the city of Rostov-on-Don, on June 24, 2023. Roman Romokhov/AFP via Getty Images

Putin’s Ukraine war keeps yielding dividends – but not for him

Ronald Suny, University of Michigan

A historian explains how Russian President Vladimir Putin, weakened by a short-lived mutiny, might find a path to peace with Ukraine.

Editors' picks

A person protests outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on June 29, 2023. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Military academies can still consider race in admissions, but the rest of the nation’s colleges and universities cannot, court rules

Kristine Bowman, Michigan State University; Kimberly Robinson, University of Virginia; Vinay Harpalani, University of New Mexico

Three legal experts weigh in on what the Supreme Court’s ban on race in college admissions means for students, colleges and universities, and the nation’s future.

News Quiz 🧠

  • The Conversation U.S. weekly news quiz

    Test your knowledge with a weekly quiz drawn from some of our favorite stories. Questions this week on Russian mercenaries, the Supreme Court, BMI and the other Thompson Twins.

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