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Interwar period

1918-1939 Also known as the interbellum. In western culture, the interwar period refers to the period between the First and the Second World War. It is often associated with economic depression... read more

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EDITOR'S CHOICE

Did the system spawn a monster - or a monster the system? Norman Pereira re-evaluates the road to totalitarianism in the Soviet Union after the Revolution, and Stalin's part in it. 

Chris Millington examines a period of bitter political division in France, dating from the 1930s and coinciding with the Nazi Occupation, which raises questions about the nature and roots of French fascism.

Volume: 64 Issue: 3 2014

Nigel Jones on the redemption sought by the assassin of Weimar Germany’s foreign minister.

Volume: 63 Issue: 7 2013

Britain’s involvement in the Middle East between the wars proved a rich seam for authors of adventure stories. Michael Paris shows how these, in turn, helped to reinforce the imperial mission.

Volume: 63 Issue: 5 2013

Sally White recalls the efforts of the British League of Help, launched in the wake of the First World War by Lilias, Countess Bathurst, to raise funds to support devastated areas of France.

Volume: 63 Issue: 7 2013

Hal Wert tells the story of the two Lithuanian-American aviators, Steponas Darius and Stanley Girenas, whose attempt to bring honour to the land of their birth ended tragically in July 1933.

Volume: 63 Issue: 3 2013

Benjamin Ziemann examines the enigma of Karl Mayr, the reclusive army officer who nurtured Adolf Hitler’s early political career and participated in the Kapp Putsch of 1920, only to join the Reichsbanner,  the million-strong social democrat group devoted to defending the Weimar Republic.

Volume: 63 Issue: 1 2013

Yvonne Sherratt explores the ways in which Adolf Hitler attempted to appropriate the ideas of some of Germany’s greatest thinkers during his brief incarceration in 1924.

Volume: 63 Issue: 4 2013

The recent killing of a French teenager by fascist sympathisers recalls the tensions and divisions of the 1930s, says Chris Millington.

Volume: 63 Issue: 8 2013

Roger Hudson examines a photograph from 1920 taken on the eve of a profound split on the French Left.

Volume: 62 Issue: 7 2012

As a boy growing up in Munich Edgar Feuchtwanger witnessed the rise of Germany’s dictator at extraordinarily close range.

Volume: 62 Issue: 6 2012

Hugh Purcell tells how Kitty Bowler, a young American, captured the heart of Tom Wintringham, the 'English Captain' at Jarama.

Volume: 62 Issue: 2 2012

The story of penicillin is well known, as are those Nobel Prize winners who were honoured for their part in its discovery. But one man’s contribution has been overlooked. Malcolm Murfett sets the record straight on the biochemist Norman G. Heatley.

Volume: 62 Issue: 9 2012

Japan flexed its muscles and launched a full-scale invasion of China following an incident on July 7th, 1937.

Volume: 62 Issue: 7 2012

The Treaty of Versailles, negotiated by the fractious Allies in the wake of the First World War, did not crush Germany, nor did it bring her back into the family of nations. Antony Lentin examines a tortuous process that sowed the seeds of further conflict.

Volume: 62 Issue: 1 2012

Anne Sebba revisits Michael Bloch’s article, first published in History Today in 1979, on the historian Philip Guedalla’s enthusiastic but misguided support for his friend, Edward VIII.

Volume: 61 Issue: 11 2011

A class confrontation at the Epsom Derby of 1920.

Volume: 61 Issue: 11 2011

The idea that the German foreign office during the Nazi period was a stronghold of traditional, aristocratic values is no longer tenable according to recent research, as Markus Bauer reports.

Volume: 61 Issue: 9 2011

Richard Cavendish describes the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary on May 27th, 1936.

Volume: 61 Issue: 5 2011

In October 1935 Mussolini’s Fascist Italian forces invaded Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) at a crucial moment in the run-up to the Second World War. Daniel Whittall looks at the complex issues the invasion raised in Britain and the responses to it, especially from black Britons.

Volume: 60 Issue: 10 2010

Juliet Gardiner explains why her new book examines a short period of the 20th century and how she attempts to achieve a panorama of experiential history that gives readers a real feel for a slice of time.

Volume: 60 Issue: 4 2010

Graham Darby points to common errors and omissions that should be avoided.

Issue: 67 2010

In the years leading up to the Second World War, France was riven by political division as extremes of left and right vied for power. Annette Finley-Croswhite and Gayle K. Brunelle tell the tragic and mysterious story of Laetitia Toureaux, a young woman swept up in the violent passions of the time.

Volume: 60 Issue: 1 2010

Nick Smart scrutinises Chamberlain's foreign policy and the historiography of appeasement.

Issue: 65 2009

Martin Pugh argues that life during the interwar years was brighter than has often been suggested, in spite of its association with economic depression and the rise of Fascism.

Volume: 58 Issue 8 2008

Robert Pearce sees remarkable continuity in Churchill’s outlook, despite the transformation of his fortunes, in the 1930s.

Issue: 59 2007

Andrew Boxer considers explanations for France’s disastrous foreign policy between the wars.

Issue: 59 2007

Robert Carr dissects a book frequently referred to but seldom read.

Issue: 57 2007

Thomas Meakin asks to what extent Italian Fascism represented a triumph of style over substance.

Issue: 59 2007

Nick Smart welcomes a new and authoritative study of a key figure in interwar Britain.

Issue: 57 2007

Robert Pearce attempts to probe the nature of the 1918-22 Coalition.

Issue: 58 2007

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