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Volume 69 Issue 11 November 2019

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

Over the last 30 years, the UK’s political class has swapped ideology for values and sleepwalked into major constitutional and political change. What can it learn from the last time it faced a crisis of such magnitude?

The Portuguese national dish with a global past of ingenuity and exploitation.

A scene of ancient Arcadian bliss which hints at the coming of modernity.

In the 18th century, Europeans in the tropics found themselves beset by an array of unpleasant afflictions. They blamed black women, the climate and the strength of their own masculinity.

The fall of the Berlin Wall was as much about beginnings as it was about endings. Out of the rubble came a new hope: techno music.

The first ‘New World’ reached by Europeans was not in the Americas, but in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where previously uninhabited islands were transformed forever.

Britain’s largest intelligence agency marks its centenary this year. While its home is a distinctive architectural structure, what goes on inside remains little known.

Early modern historians, obsessed by widows and spinsters, have neglected the sexuality of other middle-aged women.

The mysterious prisoner died at the Bastille on 19 November 1703.

Police brutality and stop-and-search are yet another legacy of Empire.

How China’s landscape prevented even greater losses in the Great Famine.

The work of Elizabeth Fulhame made huge leaps in science, despite the obstacles she faced as a woman.

It was not the Nazi-Soviet Pact, but the ‘Party line’, which brought an end to the era of ‘fellow travellers’, 80 years ago.

Some biographies approach in style the character of their subjects. It is true of this biography of Lewis Namier, a leading British historian of the...
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a younger son in possession of no fortune must be in want of a job, so Jane Austen might have written...
Ezra Vogel’s China and Japan , it is fair to say, is more than just the definitive book on Asia’s two great powers, the relationship between...
In August 2019, American Congressional representative Liz Cheney, arguing against the restoration of Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly...
The debate about the British Empire can often fall into moral binarism. It was either good or bad, or some uneven admixture of the two. Even...
Tom Holland’s stupendous new book argues that while we might think we live in an irreligious culture, almost everything about the West is actually an...

A troubled UK is in desperate need of politicians and commentators who can think historically.

My favourite archive? The India Office archives at the British Library.

Provincial museums, easy to overlook, remind us that everywhere matters.