European History

A Time for Russian-U.S. Repentance

Johh P. Burgess— Tens of thousands of people gathered in Orthodox churches throughout Russia on Sunday, February 26th. In the church that I attended, the priest spoke of a God who invites humans to confess their sins and make a new start. As dozens of flickering candles cast gentle shadows

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On a Hot Summer’s Day

Avner Holtzman— Warsaw, August 1900. Two very young men, Yosef Hayim Brenner and Uri Nissan Gnessin, later to be known as the giants of modern Hebrew literature, were staying in Gnessin’s rented room in 21 Dzielna Street. Both were swept by the intensive atmosphere of Hebrew literary life in Warsaw,

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What the Soviet Story Teaches Us about Sincerity

Ellen Rutten— Concerns about sincere expression matter hard today. Social media and e-services are transforming the meaning of trust – in both bad ways (online frauds, hacker interventions) and good (when that cut-rate Airbnb apartment turns out to be as homely and lovely as you expected). Spin doctors and fake news makers

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On Writing “William the Conqueror”

David Bates— Since William the Conqueror was published, I have often been asked how long it took me to write the book. Although the actual answer is fifteen years, I often reply that it has taken both fifty and three years. For all that this is an inaccurate answer—some might

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Unveiling a Bribery Culture in the Soviet Union

James Heinzen— I first became fascinated with the social and cultural dimensions of everyday bribery in the Soviet Union when I was robbed in Moscow in 1992, just after the collapse of the USSR.  My wallet was swiped by a group of kids while I was walking in central Moscow. When

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Podcast: Paris’s Centre Pompidou

January 31st, 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the revolutionary building designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. The building launched the careers of these two Pritzker Prize-winning architects and is today one of the world’s most popular cultural institutions and the

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Allies in Africa: Strategy and Victory in World War II

Andrew Stewart— When the first shots were fired in the summer of 1940 along Sudanese and Kenyan borders, there was a great deal of interest across the British Empire in the war’s expansion into a hitherto largely ignored region. With France close to collapse, the “Italian Jackal” Benito Mussolini had

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The Spanish Monarchy in the Mediterranean Theater

Christopher Storrs— Between the peace of Utrecht that marked the end of the War of Spanish Succession in 1713 and the close of the War of the Austrian Succession in 1748, King Philip V (1700-46), the first Spanish Bourbon, represented a greater threat to peace in Europe than any other state or

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Writing Children’s Stories in Wartime

The following entries are excerpted from War Diaries, 1939-1945 (Yale University Press, 2016), a transcription of the personal diaries of Astrid Lindgren, author of the Pippi Longstocking books. Illustrated with family photographs, newspaper clippings, and facsimile pages, Lindgren’s diaries provide an intensely personal and vivid account of Europe during the Second World War. ∞

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The St. Brice’s Day Massacre: Then and Now

Levi Roach— “And in this year the king ordered all the Danish men who were in England to be slain; this was done on St. Brice’s feast day [13 November], because it was made known to the king that they treacherously wanted to deprive him and then all his counsellors

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