This Month’s Magazine

In the December issue:

The Darien Scheme, Organisation Todt, Georgian Britain’s ‘Heaviest Man’, Historical Fiction, Lynching the British, Books of the Year, Ladybird Books, Paul Robeson, Reindeer.

Plus: reviews, opinion, crossword and much more!

You can buy this issue from our website, from newsstands across the UK, or read it as a digital edition via the History Today App.

December 2021

SELECTED ARTICLES FROM THIS ISSUE

The Darien Scheme

Scotland’s short-lived, catastrophic Central American colony exposed its precarious relationship with England. Was closer union an inevitable result?

Organisation Todt

‘Hitler’s architect’ Albert Speer denied all responsibility for the ruthless exploitation of millions of slave labourers. Yet he was head of a bureaucratic machine that did just that. 

Lynching the British

The actions of lynch mobs during the late 19th century damaged the United States’ relationship with Britain and threatened its self-appointed role as the world’s moral guardian.

Size Matters

In Georgian Britain, England’s ‘heaviest man’ became a celebrity, his likeness reproduced across an array of media.

Books of the Year 2021

Revolutionary France, lights out in the Ottoman Empire, gross obscenity, Napoleon’s gardens and the humble index: ten historians reflect on a year of reading.

Can’t Go On

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, had aimed to bring new life to a system in which he believed until the last. 

A ‘Creative Microhistory’ of a Medieval Manor

The distant past is not often illustrated with plentiful descriptions of everyday life. Instead, the picture has to be put together from different sources, piece by piece, like a jigsaw. But there are often still gaps, which can be filled with historically informed creativity.