Posts by Yale University Press

Notes from the Gulag

The following two poems are written by Arsenii Formakov, a Latvian Russian poet, novelist, and journalist, during two terms in Soviet labor camps, 1940 to 1947 in Kraslag and 1949 to 1955 in Kamyshlag and Ozerlag. This correspondence, which Formakov mailed home to his family in Riga, provides readers with

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The Mongols and the Islamic World from Conquest to Conversion

The Mongol conquest of the Islamic world began in the early thirteenth century when Chinggis Khan and his warriors overran Central Asia and devastated much of Iran. “What event or circumstance in these times has been more important than the beginning of the reign of Chinggis Khan?” asked Rashid al-Din,

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The First Professional American Novelist

Wayne Franklin— It’s a good story, but will it sell? It’s the rare young writer who doesn’t fantasize about the best seller that would make her career. The truth of the matter, though, is that very few published writers actually support themselves by what they write. When I was a

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Finding the Future of Environmentalism in its Past

Benjamin Heber Johnson— Most environmental protections are predicated on the use of state power. When Americans feared that a species would soon be pushed over the brink of extinction, they passed laws forbidding or limiting hunting it; when they valued an area for the serene majesty of its old-growth timber,

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A Sociological Look at World War Combat

Alan Allport— The Second World War was not just one of the two greatest military efforts ever undertaken by the United Kingdom, but also, albeit quite by chance, one of its two greatest ever sociological experiments. Between 1939 and 1945, Britain mobilized around 5.8 million men and 640,000 women for

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Architect of the Holocaust

Martin Kitchen— The Oxford historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, whom British Intelligence had appointed to counter Soviet claims that Hitler was not dead but had sought refuge with the Western Allies, interviewed Albert Speer while he was in custody at Kransberg Castle, where he awaited trial at Nuremberg. He had found him

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The Backdrop of the Crisis in Syria

Itamar Rabinovich— An atrocious civil war has been raging in Syria for more than six years now. More than half a million Syrians have been killed thus far, and more than ten million—almost half the population—have been uprooted. The Syrian crisis has affected the stability of neighboring countries, undermined the

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The Rare Metals of the iPhone

David S. Abraham— Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was incredulous. “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance,” Ballmer prophesied during a CEO Forum before Steve Jobs released the iPhone in June. But, by the end of the first week of sales, most

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Changing Technology, Changing Childhood

Patti Valkenburg— Every now and then, I hear teachers lament that today’s children have changed. And they are right. In the West, this generation of children exhibits significant developmental differences that distinguish them from generations that grew up without television, video games, and smartphones. Today’s children are more self-confident, more assertive, and

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An Arboreal Meditation

Fiona Stafford— In spring, you can feel life stirring in the barest twigs and the silhouetted catkins look as if a diminutive duck has run across the sky. One day the twigs are just beginning to thicken and brighten and bulge; by the next they are covered in pincer-paired leaves

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