From the Editor

From the heart of Europe to the world: Philip Roth (and Franz Kafka), 1968.

The late, great American novelist performed an important, but little-known, cultural role during the Cold War.  

Brush with death: The Mule Track, by Paul Nash, 1918.

Literature and the visual arts have long sought to depict the nature of conflict. But what about music?

Friend to all: Sir Kenelm Digby. Studio of Anthony van Dyck, 17th century.

In an age of renewed faction, a reminder of the power of friendship over politics. 

Man in red: St Jerome in his Study, Antonello da Messina, c.1475.

We will find it ever harder to navigate the past if we lose touch with the myths, legends and religions that helped shape it.  

Cutting humour: a Victorian greetings card in the shape of a cake, c.1880.

A lack of historical knowledge is easily exploited in the fractious world of social media.

Empire 1.0: Florence Preston drives in the last peg of the Uganda Railway.

Though much of the West has withdrawn from empire, one of the world’s rising powers offers the latest twist on imperialism.  

The path to democracy is a long one. It should not be taken for granted.

Out on the boundary: the 1961 Ashes test match at Lord's. © Popperfoto /Getty Images.

History is at odds with our desire for simple certainties. Can its cultivation of complexity create a better future?

© Bridgeman Images.

Historiography is one of the essential tools for unlocking the past. Without it, history is a bloodless pursuit.