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Volume 69 Issue 1 January 2019

In the first of a new series, we ask historians one of the burning questions of the day. 

Many historical analogies have been drawn to explain the Trump phenomenon. Few have pointed out that the 45th president has something in common with his great predecessor, Abraham Lincoln. Both sought to shape an economy that benefited white working men. 

The staple dish of the Middle East is as contested as the region, with different peoples claiming it as their own.

A mythological creature of extraordinary resilience.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were 16 empires of varying size and reach. At the end of the century, there was just one: the United States. How did this happen and what role did Britain play in smoothing America’s path to global hegemony?

The Conquest of Mexico was justified by the Spanish as an evil necessary to save a people who practised human sacrifice and worshipped false gods. 

Relations between Iran and Britain have often been strained. Yet the relationship is an old one, marked by mutual admiration.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, patients were encouraged to snuff, snort and sneeze their way out of a whole range of ailments and illnesses. 

Is it possible for dissidents to bring peaceful change to repressive regimes?

Turning chaotic havens of ‘sloth and debauchery’ into systemised institutions of ‘pain and terror’, Victorian ‘model’ prisons were anything but. 

On 28 January 1393 a party at the French royal residence ended in tragedy.

Venetian officials sought to stem a ‘plague’ of sodomy by promoting the heterosexual sex trade.

Rosalind Franklin’s work was pivotal to one of the 20th century’s greatest scientific discoveries.

Germany is the country most closely associated with militarism, but Britain has had its militarist moments, too.

The world’s first filmmaker disappeared without trace. Are we watching his outtakes?

Rome’s early emperors were eager to pass their power to blood successors, though in practice this proved difficult. In this new and accessible book,...
After the Taliban government collapsed in the autumn of 2001, hopes were high for a fresh start that would bring security, women’s rights,...
One of the ways in which the current President of the United States differs from all his predecessors, from George Washington to Barack Obama, is...
Pity the wryneck – a species of long-tongued woodpecker – in ancient Greece: it had the great misfortune to be considered an essential part of a sex...
John Lilburne has long been a hero for the radical left. In 1961 Michael Foot unsuccessfully campaigned for a statue of him to be erected at...

Social mobility and self-invention in the pre-digital age.

Can the collective endeavour of history still be our guide in the age of solipsism?

‘The most common misconception about my field is that classicists study a past that no longer impacts on our world today.’

An Icelandic scholar exemplifies the rich cultural exchanges of the Middle Ages.