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Volume 62 Issue 5 May 2012

Chairman Mao photographed attempting to swim the River Yangtze in July 1966.

The debate on Scottish independence has been dominated by economic arguments, to its detriment, argues Tim Stanley.

The only British Prime Minister to be murdered whilst in office was shot dead on May 11th, 1812.

Nigel Jones traces the chequered history of European referendums and asks why they appeal as much to dictators as to democrats.

Suggestions that the European Union should have control over Greece’s budget in order to curb its debt crisis have caused a fierce reaction from Athens. James Barker explores a parallel situation in 19th-century Egypt.

Modern dance was born with the premiere of L'apres-midi d'un faune on May 29th, 1912.

The Antipodean reformer died on May 16th, 1862.

Modern dance was born with the premiere of L'apres-midi d'un faune on May 29th, 1912.

The Antipodean reformer died on May 16th, 1862.

In 1729 a young entrepreneur, Jonathan Tyers, took over the failing management of the pleasure gardens at Vauxhall. During his long tenure he was able to make it a resounding success, as David Coke  explains.

Derek Wilson looks at the life of a French princess, who married and helped depose an English king during a tumultuous period of Anglo-French relations that was to end in the Hundred Years War.

Two hundred years ago Britain was gripped by a wave of violent machine breaking, as skilled textile workers, invoking the mythical Ned Ludd, attacked factories and factory owners in an attempt to defend their livelihoods. Richard Jones looks at how the phenomenon affected the industrial heartlands of Yorkshire.

Mihir Bose asks why sport has become so central to modern culture.

Britain and the United States may have been on the same side during the Second World War, but cinematic representations of the conflict could stir controversy between them, as Jeffrey Richards explains.

The abdication crisis of 1937 forced a royalist magazine to present a different face to the world, as Luci Gosling reports.

Taylor Downing appreciates the continuing relevance of an article questioning the accuracy of popular views of the wartime RAF.

Mihir Bose asks why sport has become so central to modern culture.

The abdication crisis of 1937 forced a royalist magazine to present a different face to the world, as Luci Gosling reports.

During the Second World War many cities were bombed from the air. However Rome, the centre of Christendom but also the capital of Fascism, was left untouched by the Allies until July 1943. Claudia Baldoli looks at the reasons why and examines the views of Italians towards the city.

The same spotlight of historical enquiry that scholars have long been shedding on the biblical past is now starting to illumine the origins of Islam, as Tom Holland explains.

Ed Smith considers contingency, a factor central to both sport and history.

The election for London Mayor took place on May 3rd, marked by the bitter rivalry between the present incumbent Boris Johnson and his predecessor Ken Livingstone. But, says Penelope J. Corfield, it’s just another chapter in London’s long electoral history.

Ramona Wadi reports on the continuing struggle to shed light on the death in 1973 of the Chilean singer and political activist Victor Jara.