Volume 74 Issue 2 February 2024

Pasternak and Stalin: What Was Said?

A short telephone call between Joseph Stalin and Boris Pasternak sealed the fate of a fellow writer. What exactly transpired during that fateful discussion remains subject to debate.

Convents as a Refuge in Early Modern Lisbon

Lisbon’s convents were not just religious houses, but safe havens for the noblewomen of Portugal offering refuge from abusive husbands, unhappy marriages and a city swarming with ‘dogs and devils’.

Pet Monkeys in Victorian Britain

Pet monkeys became a popular fashion accessory for the Victorians, found in homes across the country. But they were rarely living a life of luxury.

How ASEAN Lost its Way

ASEAN was founded to promote peace between the nations of Southeast Asia. Incapable of moving with the times, what is the point of it?

Sand War: The Cold War in North Africa

In 1963 a border dispute between Morocco and Algeria escalated into the Sand War. What began as an ideological difference between two newly independent nations soon became personal.

Judgement at Tokyo by Gary J. Bass review

Pacy and even-handed, Judgement at Tokyo: World War II on Trial and the Making of Modern Asia by Gary J. Bass is unlikely to be bettered as a portrait of the Tokyo trials.

The Search for the Historical Buddha

Arriving in the West in the 19th century, the Buddha of legend was stripped of supernatural myth and recast as a historical figure. What do we really know about him?

American Journey by Wes Davis review

American Journey: On the Road with Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and John Burroughs by Wes Davis falls short of examining the consequences that followed the wanderlust.

A History of Phantom Pain

For centuries, scientists and philosophers used phantom limbs to unravel the secrets of the human mind. While we know phantom pain exists, we still don’t know why.