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Volume 61 Issue 6 June 2011

The desire of western governments, most notably those of Britain, to apologise for the actions of their predecessors threatens to simplify the complexities of history, argues Tim Stanley.

The American abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe was born on 14 June 1811.

John Swinfield describes the bizarre politics behind the British government’s attempt to launch a pair of airships in the 1920s and how a project that might have boosted national pride ended in tragedy and failure.

Despite the popularity of shows like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Britain’s Gypsy Travellers still face longstanding prejudice, warns Becky Taylor.

Richard Cavendish describes how General Somoza organised an armed uprising and seized power in Nicaragua, on June 9th 1936.

The Australian pioneer Robert O'Hara Burke died of starvation on June 30th, 1861.

Richard Cavendish describes how General Somoza organised an armed uprising and seized power in Nicaragua, on June 9th 1936.

The Australian pioneer Robert O'Hara Burke died of starvation on June 30th, 1861.

During the seventh century the Arabs invaded North Africa three times, bringing not just a new religion but a language and customs that were alien to the native Berber tribes of the Sahara and Mediterranean hinterland. Eamonn Gearon looks at the rise of the first Islamic empire.

Brazil may be one of the 21st century’s emerging superpowers, but its history is a mystery to many. Gabriel Paquette tells the story of its early years as an independent state.

Adam Hochschild looks at an unlikely pair of siblings whose high profile yet very different approach to the events of the early 20th century reflect a turbulent age.

Medieval knights were the sporting superstars and military heroes of their day, who performed before an adoring public in the tournament. Nigel Saul explains their appeal.

In the late 18th century the merchants, manufacturers and traders of Liverpool founded one of the first chambers of commerce in Britain with the aim of promoting the local economy. Bob Bennett looks at early parallels with the Coalition government’s plans for local partnerships.

History Today was launched in 1951, the year of the Festival of Britain. Barry Turner challenges Arthur Marwick’s impressions, first published in 1991, of the year that austerity Britain glimpsed a brighter future.

During the seventh century the Arabs invaded North Africa three times, bringing not just a new religion but a language and customs that were alien to the native Berber tribes of the Sahara and Mediterranean hinterland. Eamonn Gearon looks at the rise of the first Islamic empire.

The Aeneid, Virgil’s epic Latin poem, offers as profound an insight into the current Libyan crisis as any 24-hour news channel, argues Robert Zaretsky.

The anti-government protests in Egypt earlier this year swept through Cairo and Alexandria before measures could be taken to protect antiquities in museums and archaeological sites in those cities and across the country. Yet, argues Jonathan Downs, the impact on Egyptian heritage and the repatriation debate has been a positive one.

Richard Bosworth looks at the Vittoriano, the Italian capital’s century-old monument to Victor Emmanuel II and Italian unification and still the focus of competing claims over the country’s history and national identity.