Feature

The 50 Years that Made America

Fifty years separate the Boston Tea Party and the Monroe Doctrine. How did a group of British colonies become a self-proclaimed protector of continents within half a century?

What Killed Kennedy?

Was it the mob? A coup? Cuban dissidents? War hawks? 60 years after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the theories are still debated. Do any of them hold up?

Christianity’s Bloody History in Japan

Japan has had a vexed relationship with Jesus ever since European missionaries arrived on its shores. Banned until 1873, successive leaders have asked whether love of the ‘two Js’ is compatible.

Why Egypt Went to War in 1973

In 1973, Egyptian soldiers hoisted their flag over Sinai, smashing the myth of Israeli invincibility. Fifty years on from the October War, who claims the victory: the president or the people?

How Henry II Survived the Great Rebellion

In 1173 the Angevin empire looked set to fall, facing rebellion on all sides. Against incredible odds Henry II won a decisive victory, silencing kings, lords – and his own children.

Diamonds and the Holocaust

As Jewish lapidaries were held in Nazi concentration camps, diamond sales soared in the US. Both sides saw gemstones as integral to the war effort. 

When Inca Mummies Came to Europe

Older than their Egyptian counterparts, the preserved remains of Andean peoples fascinated 19th-century Europe, leading to a ‘bone stampede’ for Inca mummies. But to what end?