History

Over-mighty thugs

It may seem hard to believe that posterity has too favourable an image of Hitler’s SA (Sturm-Abteilung). Formed in 1921 as a bodyguard to protect Nazis and intimidate their opponents,...

  • STORMTROOPERS

    Daniel Siemens

History

A very British battle

The British have a curious tendency to celebrate and remember their heroic military failures more readily than their many victories. Corunna, the first disastrous day on the Somme, and Dunkirk...

  • ARNHEM

    Antony Beevor

History

American scream

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the White House in 2015, he declared the American Dream “dead”. When taking office less than two years later, he announced his governing...

  • Behold, America

    Sarah Churchwell

History

Free hand

Freedom is like God, supposedly un­presentable despite our best attempts to render it in increasingly vivid and literal ways. Americans synthesize civil and religious discourse into their unique, cultic brand...

History

Wolf and sheep

Twenty years after the death in 1520 of the Ottoman sultan Selim I from a malignant carbuncle, the grand vezir of his son and successor, Süleyman I, opined that his...

  • THE MAKING OF SELIM

    H. Erdem Çıpa

History

Maritime Muslims

For Fernand Braudel, the pioneer of Mediterranean history, the periods of Muslim ascendancy within that sea were interludes that disrupted a fundamental continuity. This continuity could be traced back to...

  • SEA OF CALIPHS

    Christophe Picard

History

No peace in their time

Most of us have not lived through a war that directly affects us, but anyone with parents or grand­parents who did will probably know just how profoundly it shaped their...

  • THE ENGLISH PEOPLE AT WAR IN THE AGE OF HENRY VIII

    Steven Gunn

History

Menstruating serpent

In 1370, the Flemish sculptor Jean de Liège was commissioned to make effigies of Charles IV and his widow Jeanne d’Évereux. At first glance, they appear to be standard late-medieval...

  • MEDIEVAL BODIES

    Jack Hartnell

History

Finding Henry

In the film of James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter, Henry II (Peter O’Toole) and his queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katharine Hepburn) spit verbal poison at one another while their...

History

National disgrace

With barely suppressed rage, but with a forensic eye for the facts after years of careful and deep research, Ian Campbell’s The Addis Ababa Massacre: Italy’s national shame recounts a...

  • THE ADDIS ABABA MASSACRE

    Ian Campbell