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The Course of Empire: Destruction by Thomas Cole
Empires have been part of human history for millennia. Are they, of necessity, a bad thing?

History Today

In 1961, rattled by Soviet advances in space, President John F. Kennedy declared that, within a decade, the United States would land a man on the Moon. David Baker tells the story of how it took the US Air Force to change NASA and make the dream a reality

David Baker

W. E. B. Du Bois, co-founder of the NAACP, in 1918
Despite the rise of Barack Obama, many African-Americans still feel like second-class citizens. John Kirk charts the progress of the civil rights movement through its most prominent body, the NAACP.

John Kirk

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Portrait of Thomas Cromwell (detail), by Jacob Houbraken after Hans Holbein (II), 1737-39. Rijksmuseum.

A plot, a rebellion and a triumph from the life of Thomas Cromwell.

Portraits in the Characters of the Muses in the Temple of Apollo, by Richard Samuel (1778) © National Portrait Gallery, London

Although not allowed to study at university, women in 18th-century England still found ways to join – and challenge – the scholarly world.

A Renaissance imagining of the Temple. Tempel van Diana te Efeze, Philips Galle, after Maarten van Heemskerck, 1581 - 1633. Rijksmuseum.

On 21 July 356 BC, the day Alexander the Great was said to have been born, the temple burned to the ground.

Ottoman troops advance towards the army of Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia at the Battle of Mohacs, 1526 © Bridgeman Images

The military elite of the Muslim world was comprised of men who had been captured and forced into service. But to what extent were they subject to slavery?

Ben Jones

During the Cold War, nearly a quarter of all the world’s nuclear testing took place in Kazakhstan, in secret. In 1986, a high-profile disaster in Ukraine changed that.

The Singapore flagged Norman Atlantic after an Iranian attack, on approach to the Strait  of Hormuz, 6 December 1987 © Norbert Schiller/AFP/Getty Images

The Strait of Hormuz has become a fraught passage in the Tanker Wars between Iran and Iraq.

Neville Chamberlain announcing "Peace in our Time" on his arrival at Heston Airport, 30 September 1938.

An admirable retelling of the traditional history of appeasement.

Illustration for The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, printed by William Morris at the Kelmscott Press, 1896

Is a biography of Chaucer impossible?

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Current Issue

Cover of the July issue

Volume 69 Issue 7 July 2019

  • A hidden chapter: women of the Klan
  • Apocalypse then: when the world didn't end
  • The Civil War's 'Martyr of Peace'
  • The Bengal famine of 1943: is there only one story to tell?
  • 'The last front' of the Freikorps
  • The book that can't be read
  • Thatcher breaks consensus
  • A history of the picnic