Volume 53 Issue 12 December 2003

Steve Smith shows that those who control the present are sometimes able to control interpretations of the past.

In the final article in our series on Britain and Russia, Stuart Thompstone visits the long-lasting community of Britons in the Russian capital.

A.D. Harvey recalls the career of the Swedish king whose assassination inspired a famous opera.

Peter Furtado introduces the December 2003 issue of History Today.

The treaty to bring parts of present-day Arizona and New Mexico into the United States was signed on December 30th, 1853.

David Lowenthal explores natural history enthusiasms among Victorian Britons and Americans, and finds an explanation for their differing approaches to conservation.

Stalin's security chief was executed on December 23rd, 1953.

Adrian Mourby shows that the nightmare scenario can be both dire warning and escapist fantasy.

December 27th, 1703

Jerry Brookshire shows that the ‘special relationship’ in 1945-51 was in safe, and curiously similar, hands.

Scot McKendrick introduces a major new exhibition of Flemish manuscript illumination opening at the Royal Academy.

Colin Cook looks at the political, philosophical and cultural impact of the idea of aviation in the first half of the 20th century.

Charlotte Crow glimpses the British Museum’s new exhibition of its own original collections in the great King’s Library.

David Jordan recalls the career of the man Brazilians claim to have been the true pioneer of powered heavier-than-air flight.

Merle Ricklefs seeks clues for the future of the troubled archipelago nation in its distant past.