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Head to Head

Saint George and the Dragon, Luca Signorelli (workshop of), 1495-1505. Rijksmuseum.

In an age when nationalism is on the rise, the role of the historian becomes ever more valuable – and controversial.

The Execution of Charles I, c.1649.

There has been no shortage of historical events put forward to explain Britain’s current political crisis, but do any of them seriously inform debate?

Winston Churchill speaking in London, 23 February 1949.

How important is the study of the powerful, epoch-defining individual?

Battle of Wilson's Creek, 10th August 10, 1861 (c.1893)

What did the violence in the bloodiest conflict in US history yield in the postwar era?

The Course of Empire: Destruction by Thomas Cole

Empires have been part of human history for millennia. Are they, of necessity, a bad thing?

The Acropolis of Athens by Leo von Klenze.

The worst kind of government – apart from all the others – faces increasingly tough challenges. Four leading historians consider its future.

Illustration of Mary Walcott at the Salem witch trials.

Leading historians discuss one of the burning questions of the day.

Bolshevik (1920) by Boris Kustodiev.

Four historians consider the desirability of profound political change and the methods used to attain it.

A portrait depicting the Elgin Marbles in a temporary Elgin Room at the British Museum surrounded by museum staff, a trustee and visitors, 1819

Four historians consider one of the most contentious questions facing the West’s museums and galleries.

Fresh perspective? Making the BBC Three drama Our World War. BBC Photo Library

Four historians consider how their discipline can best reach a mass audience.