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Volume 57 Issue 2 February 2007

The Berlin Wall was a tangible symbol of the suppression of human rights by the Eastern bloc during the Cold War, but Frederick Taylor asks whether it was more convenient to the Western democracies than their rhetoric suggested.

The courthouse, built on the site of Newgate Prison, was formally opened on February 27th, 1907.

Thomas Jefferson's former vice-president was held on February 19th, 1807.

Richard Cavendish marks the anniversary of the events of February 15th, 1957

Larry Gragg digs beneath the glitzy surface of America’s ‘sin city’ to find out how this extravagant home of gambling and glamour came into being.

Christine Riding looks at William Hogarth’s particular view of the street life of 18th-century London, and at what his interpretation presents in comparison with the artistic offerings of his Continental competitors.

Peter Marshall explains how a chance reference in an old local history book led him to reconstruct the story of a 17th-century church scandal, and its afterlife in literature, culture and politics.

Alastair Bonnett argues that radical nostalgia has played a larger role in the formation of English socialism than Marxist historians – and New Labour – allow.

Nick Cullather explains how the scientific discovery of the calorie meant food values could be quantified – and the US could make food an instrument of foreign policy.

The Combined Cadet Force is coming back into fashion, says Ronan Thomas, who believes its wider take-up would help reduce gun and knife crime in Britain’s cities.

Patrick Little asks why Parliament offered the infamous regicide the crown of England, to what extent he was tempted to take it – and why he finally turned it down.

Markus Bauer hopes that Romania’s membership of the European Union will enable it to face down the ghosts of its troubled twentieth-century past.

Patricia Cleveland-Peck visits Gotland, the Baltic island where the Viking and medieval pasts are to be found round every corner.

For more than 600 black South Africans, there were to be no fine deeds serving for the glory of the British King and for Africa, no quick death in the heat of battle, simply a miserable end in the icy English Channel, as Caroline Coxon explains.

Tobias Grey discusses the impact of a controversial historical novel that has become a literary sensation in France, and asks some French-based commentators and historians for their reactions.

Meriel Larken takes the helm of the Yavari, a Victorian ship plying the highest navigable lake in the world.

Canaletto’s rich legacy of work made over a decade spent in England is the subject of a new exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Denise Silvester-Carr tells how the Venetian artist, long popular with the British, crossed the Channel to revive his fortunes.