History

The Turning Point that Could Have Been Avoided

Guy Laron— With the moving of the American embassy to the Jerusalem last month, the American-Israeli alliance has never looked stronger. However, even close allies can experience crises. Such was the case when Israel’s naval and air forces bombed and torpedoed the USS Liberty on 8 June 1967, killing thirty-four

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What Happened to Enlightenment?

Caroline Winterer— What happened to enlightened ideas after the long eighteenth century? As more scholars are placing ideals of enlightenment in their global contexts, we are learning that the conventional understandings of the fate of enlightenment no longer hold. Enlightenment did not end with the movement called Romanticism, its ideals

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The Future of War

A.C. Grayling— The history of drones is surprisingly long, as a special form of ‘unmanned aerial vehicle’ (UAV) long since developed to undertake tasks considered ‘too dull, dirty or dangerous’ for human beings. UAVs were in rudimentary use before the First World War for target practice, they served as flying

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Ep. 61 – On Color

We’re talking about color this week—where it comes from, how we see it, and its role in our lives.   Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify

Political Cartoons in the Digital Age

David Francis Taylor— In 2004 Morten Morland published a cartoon in the Times that took aim at Anglo-American attempts to broker peace between Israel and Palestine. He did so by adapting a much older image: James Gillray’s “Sin, Death, and the Devil” of 1792. Gillray’s caricature responded to the sacking

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Adapting Atticus

Anders Walker— Now that the lawsuit between Harper Lee’s estate and Broadway producer Scott Rudin is settled, the question remains whether the stage version of Atticus Finch is going to remain faithful to the beloved lawyer in To Kill a Mockingbird.  According to Lee’s estate, Finch was a “model of

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Creating “William the Bastard”

David Bates— The fact that William the Conqueror’s parents, Robert, duke of Normandy from 1027 to 1035, and Herleva, were not married according to the rules of the Christian Church has over the years massively influenced interpretations of his life, his prospects, and his personality. It has been transmitted across

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Against the “Ascent of Man”

James C. Scott— Historical humankind has been mesmerized by the narrative of progress and civilization as codified by the first great agrarian kingdoms. As new and powerful societies, they were determined to distinguish themselves as sharply as possible from the populations from which they sprang and that still beckoned and

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Ep. 60 – Russia’s Super Mafia

They have survived Stalinism, the Cold War, the Afghan War, and the end of the Soviet experiment, but who are the Vory?   Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Spotify

Why 2018 is Likely to be a Historic Midterm

Alan I. Abramowitz— On the night of June 5, while most of the nation’s attention was focused on the results of California’s crucial “top two” primary, something unusual happened in the state of Alabama—and this time it didn’t involve Roy Moore. A Republican U.S. House incumbent named Martha Roby was

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