European History

The New Biography of a Dictator

Oleg V. Khlevniuk; Translated by Nora Seligman Favorov— Over his seventy-four-year life, the Soviet dictator fought through a stormy historical landscape to become an important factor in events not only in Russia, but also the world. Among scholars, there is more agreement than controversy on the historical and ideational antecedents

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Expansionist Propaganda in World War I Germany

Tim Grady— Davis Trietsch and Julius Friedrich Lehmann made for an unlikely pair. Trietsch, a well-known German-Jewish statistician, journalist and sometime editor, spent many years living in New York, before returning to Berlin at the turn of the century. He was also an active Zionist, a regular visitor to Palestine

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Who is David?

David Wolpe— We wish our heroes to be attractively flawed: brave but heedless, good but confused, wise yet inexplicably sad. A minor crack in character makes the vessel seem that much more precious. Still, while acknowledging the complexity behind the clarity of Lincoln, or the darkness that lurked beneath Churchill’s

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The Downfall of Hitler’s Soldiers

Ben H. Shepard— The answer to the question of why the German army fought on as long as it did was an answer that evolved and changed during the war’s final two years. By February 1943, and by the summer of 1943 at the very latest, the great majority of officers and

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The Historical Assault on the Language of the Deaf

Gerald Shea— Noam Chomsky, giving a lecture in Chicago in 1965, mistakenly defined language as “a specific sound-to-meaning correspondence.” When asked where this left the signed languages of the Deaf, Chomsky revised his definition on the spot, calling language a specific signal to meaning correspondence. The distinction was important, for it was

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Ep. 33 – Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli, and the Great Stink of 1858

The summer of 1858 was hot and stinky in London and filled with stories and scandals.

Why Are We Still Reading Jane Austen (But Not Mary Brunton)?

H. J. Jackson— Up to 1860, the career paths of Jane Austen and Mary Brunton were strikingly similar. If Brunton had an advantage in the reviews and reference books, Austen—who after all produced more novels—gradually took the lead in numbers of editions and reprints. Almost exact contemporaries, they both started

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Ep. 32 – The Nazi Obsession with the Occult

The Nazi obsession with the occult and supernatural is well-known in pop culture. Eric Kurlander gives us the real story beyond what we’ve seen in Hollywood and comics.

Disraeli, de Rothschild, and the Struggle to Admit Jews to Parliament

Rosemary Ashton— What was it like to live in London through one of the hottest summers on record, with the River Thames emitting a sickening smell as a result of the sewage of over two million inhabitants being discharged into the river and floating up and down with the tide, never

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Pride Month Bookshelf: LGBTQIA+ History, Cultural Studies, and Literature Beyond June

Presenting our Yale University Press Pride Month reading list—because celebrating #Pride2017, learning from the history of the movement, championing stories and contributions of LGBTQIA+ individuals, and working each day to insist on equal and fair treatment of queer communities should extend far beyond June. Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World by Gregory

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