USA

Race of the Steamboats: Robert E. Lee (nicknamed the ‘Monarch of the Mississippi’) and Natchez, chromolithograph, 1870 © Getty Images

Mark Twain painted an evocative vision of the Mississippi River, but he didn’t tell the whole story.

A group of Sioux Indians protests at Alcatraz, 1968 © Getty Images

1964 was the first time Indians were mentioned in a State of the Union address, not as belligerent enemies or a 'problem'.

Defiant: Jesse Owens after winning the 100m at the Berlin Olympics, August 1936 © Getty Images

How the Nazi persecution of Jews shaped the African-American freedom struggle.

Women (and child) at a Ku Klux Klan mass-initiation ceremony, Atlanta, Georgia,  18 June 1949 © Getty Images

The role of women in the Ku Klux Klan is often neglected, but they were key players at all levels.

Alarm about moral degeneracy and ‘family values’ provoked Hollywood to instigate its own self-censorship codes in the 1920s. The industry's preoccupation with American morality proved to be the source of inspiration and even genius.

Flag of the United States of America with 34 stars, made of wool and cotton by Mrs John E. Forbes, 1861-63.

A wise and readable narrative history of the United States is a reminder of how tenaciously previous generations have clung to the view that the country is the ‘last, best hope of earth’.

‘Grover Cleveland Taming the British Lion’, Joseph Keppler, Puck, 1888.

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?

American Progress, George A. Crofutt, c.1873. National Library of Congress

James K. Polk’s first State of the Union Address, on 2 December 1845, promoted the concept that the US should encompass all of North America.

In 1904, when tobacco farmers of Kentucky and Tennessee formed an association to unite against the American Tobacco Company, a vigilante splinter group decided to deliver its own brand of rough justice.

Paradise lost: Native Americans in the Yosemite Valley, California, c.1870.

Blessed with beauty and wealth, California fails to come to terms with its past.