European History

Yale University Press mines data from Soviet archives

On Sunday The Boston Globe ran a profile of Jonathan Brent, the associate director and editorial director of Yale University Press and the executive editor of the Annals of Communism Series. The series is a 20-book project that “provides new and vivid details from documents that have been mined by

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Complicity with Evil

Adam LeBor’s new book “Complicity with Evil” – The United Nations in the Age of Modern Genocide was published in the US and UK in November 2006. It is a controversial, powerful and thought-provoking book which asks important questions about the legacy of the United Nations under Kofi Annan and

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Europe’s Physician

The New Republic has printed an insightful appraisal of famed historian Hugh Trevor-Roper’s capstone work, Europe’s Physician. Reviewer Peter Miller points out that doctors can provide a unique historical window into politics because of their trusted status, proximity to power, and necessary philosophical balancing of science, religion and humanity. “[I]t

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Cartoons from the Kremlin

How did the rulers of the Soviet Union pass the time during long Politburo meetings in the Kremlin? They doodled. Sketching on notebook pages, official letterheads, and the margins of draft documents, prominent Soviet leaders in the 1920s and 1930s amused themselves and their colleagues with drawings of one another.

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Why Arendt Matters

Saturday, October 14, marks the centennial of the birth of Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), the German-born political philosopher whose analysis of the nature of power, totalitarianism, and the “banality of evil” still resonates powerfully in our own time. “So it is no accident,” says Edward Rothstein in the New York Times,

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Set in Stone

Roberta Smith reviewed “Set in Stone: The Medieval Face in Sculpture” in the New York Times today. The exhibit is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and will run until February 18, 2007. From the review: “Set in Stone: The Face in Medieval Sculpture” is one of

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The Worst of Evils

“Pain is such an uncomfortable feeling that even a tiny amount of it is enough to ruin every enjoyment.”—Will Rogers In a world where more and more people are voluntarily “going under the knife,” it is hard to imagine a time when anesthesia was frowned upon. In the late nineteenth

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Americans in Paris

“When today we look for ‘American art’ we find it mainly in Paris. When we find it out of Paris, we at least find a good deal of Paris in it.” —Henry James, 1887 Over 100 masterpieces including Whistler’s Mother and Sargent’s Madame X are now on display in the

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“The Recording Angel” Named One of 50 Greatest Music Books Ever

The Observer Music Monthly has just released its list of the 50 greatest music books ever, formed through consultation with its world-class music experts and readers. Included prominently on the list is Evan Eisenberg’s The Recording Angel: Music, Records and Culture from Aristotle to Zappa, with the following description: “How

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Palladio’s Rome

“With [Thomas] Jefferson I conversed at length on the subject of architecture — Palladio, he said, ‘was the Bible — you should get it and stick close to it.’” – Colonel Isaac A. Coles, 1816 Andrea di Pietro della Gondola (1508-1580)–better known by the name Palladio, after the Greek goddess

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