History Today

History Today is a monthly magazine published by History Today, Ltd. Founded in 1951, it is owned by Andy Patterson and has a circulation of roughly 30,000 subscribers. Headquarters are based in London, England.The magazine, which is geared towards teachers, students, and those with an interest in history, publishes essays written by some leading history scholars covering myriad periods, regions, topics, and themes in history. It is available in print and online.The print version was founded by Brendan Backen, who worked as the Minister of Information during World War II. He was also the publisher of the Financial Times. Currently, both print and online versions are published under the vision and guide of editor-in-chief, Paul Lay.History Today offers readers articles ranging from atomic medicine to the rise and fall of empires. Each essay comes with illustrations selected by picture editor Sheila Corr. The web edition includes a news digest from web editor, Kathryn Hadley.Subscribers can buy an annual subscription for either the web or print version. Web subscribers can also purchase access to articles from the publication's archives dating back to 1980. The magazine also has a sister publication, History Review, which is aimed at students and is published three times each year.

Articles from Vol. 57, No. 12, December

Altars and Altercation
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In the years before the English Civil War, ecclesiastical architecture became a subject of powerful conflict between the rival wings of the Church. Edward Swift, winner of the 2006 Royal Historical Society/History Today Undergraduate...
Christmas Gifts: Books and Films for the Lover of the Past
Food: The History of Taste Edited by Paul Freedman Thames & Hudson 362pp [pounds sterling]24.95 ISBN 0 500 25125 5 Food history has been revolutionized in recent years through its connection with social history, and this lavish book is the first...
Cloaks, Daggers and Dynamite. A Century Ago International Anarchists Were Causing Public Outrage and Panic with Their Terror Tactics. Matt Carr Considers the Parallels with Al-Qaeda Today
IT HAS BECOME SOMETHING OF A CLICHE to claim that the world has changed irrevocably in response to the unique and deadly threat of al-Qaeda. But if the current crisis appears unprecedented, its essential parameters are not entirely new. The spectre...
Confessions of a German Soldier: Dietrich Karsten Was a Protestant Pastor Who Opposed the Nazi Regime in the 1930s but Died for Hitler as a Soldier in the War. His Granddaughter, Lena Karsten, Enlisted the Help of Film-Maker Tony Wilson and Historian Gabriel Fawcett to Find His Grave and Tell His Story. the Result Is a Powerful Feature Documentary Confessions of a German Soldier. Lena Karsten Gives an Insight into What She Discovered
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] 'I FEAR THERE WILL COME a time when the only people Germany can rely on are the Christians. And there are only a few of those', wrote my grandfather in despair, seventy years ago. Where were the Christians during the Third...
December's Anniversaries
Lenin Flees Russia Again December 12th, 1907 VLADIMIR ILYICH ULYANOV, better known as Lenin, achieved his overwhelming influence on his native country after fifteen years and more away from it in his thirties and forties. It was abroad, safe from...
Duel in the Crown: Charlotte Crow Describes How a Recent Visit to India on the 150th Anniversary of the Indian Mutiny Became a Flashpoint for Indians and Britons over the Commemoration by the Two Nations
WRITING IN THE TIME OF INDIA on September 28th, the Indian-born British economist and politician Lord Desai observed, 'What a strange country India has become. Even after sixty years of independence, it still lacks self-confidence to feel comfortable...
English Legends of the Three Kings: Alison Barnes Explains Our Special Fondness for the Christmas Legend
ALTHOUGH THE ACCOUNT in Matthew's Gospel of the 'wise men from the East' who were guided to the infant Jesus by the Star of Bethlehem (2:1-12) is so tantalizingly short and vague, it is a magical story whose unfathomable mystery has captured the imagination...
Festival in the Chapel
Carola Hicks takes a seasonal look at the stained glass of King's College Chapel, Cambridge (right), the subject of her new book. AS FAMILIAR A PART OF CHRISTMAS as turkey and mince pies is the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols celebrated in the...
Greek Odyssey. Simon Goldhill Explains How He Came to Be Hooked on Greek Tragedy at an Early Age-And Has Stayed Hooked
I saw my first Greek play in 1973 on the night England failed to qualify for the World Cup, when they could not score against Poland. I stood in a dingy fish and chip shop near Waterloo Station and watched the last minutes. The newspapers were quick...
Islam's First Terrorists: Clive Foss Introduces the Kharijites, a Radical Sect from the First Century of Islam Based in Southern Iraq and Iran, Who Adopted an Extreme Interpretation of the Koran, Ruthless Tactics and Opposed Hereditary Political Leadership. after Causing Centuries of Problems to the Caliphate, They Survive in a Quietist Form in East Africa and Oman
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] BEFORE DAWN ON THE seventeenth day of the holy month of Ramadan in the year 40 of the Hegira (January 24th, AD 661), the Caliph All entered the great mosque of Kufa to prepare for the day's prayers. A conspirator lurking in...
New York: Patricia Cleveland-Peck Visits the Big Apple in Search of Its Blossoming
HAD THE FRENCH KING FRANCIS I had taken more notice of Giovanni da Verrazano, the Italian explorer he sent to the New World in search of the Northwest Passage, New Yorkers might have been speaking French today. The area known now covered by New...
Opening Up: Two Major Museums Open New Permanent Galleries This Month, Offering New Light on Our Past
THE NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM in Greenwich, is reorganizing its permanent galleries and opens phase one, Atlantic Worlds, on November 30th. The gallery explores the interrelationship, connections and exchanges created between Europe, Africa and the...
Portugal's Mad Queen
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Two hundred years ago this month, a French invasion force marched into Portugal, the first hostility of what would soon become the Peninsular War. Napoleon was insisting that Portugal (a neutral country) must close its ports...
Reeling Back the Past: Captain Crispin Swayne Describes His Work on Major Feature Films as a Historical and Military Adviser, and What He Hopes to Achieve
I'M NEWLY ARRIVED ON REDCAR BEACH, surrounded by Second World War wreckage, having just been introduced to Joe Wright, the director of Atonement, the recent film of Ian McEwan's novel. He says to me 'It's a four-and-a-half minute shot. I don't know...
The First American Political Cartoon
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Continuing his series on how cartoonists have seen events great and small, Mark Bryant looks at the first political cartoon--and one of the most influential ever--to be published in America BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, as generations...
The Liberator Daniel O'Connell and Anti-Slavery
The story of the British anti-slavery and abolitionist movements has been dominated by the twin figures of Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce. Yet, the success of the Slave Trade Act of 1807 and the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 benefited from...
Toronto's Pow Wow: Patricia Cleveland-Peck Visits an Annual Festival of North American History and Culture
NORTH AMERICA'S LARGEST ABORIGINAL ARTS EVENT, the Canadian Aboriginal Festival and Pow Wow takes place annually in Toronto, this year on November 30th-December 2nd. Pow Wows are among North America's oldest public festivals; the term was used by the...
Victims of Circumstance
BYSTANDERS, VICTIMS AND PERPETRATORS: the tripartite categorization has become a cliche of historical analysis of the horrors of the past. But the more we look at the ways these things happened, and the tangled interactions of individual lives with...
Whatever Happened to the Non-Aligned Movement? Martin Evans Recalls the 'Third Way' of Cold War International Politics, Now All but Forgotten
THE TERM 'THIRD WORLD' WAS COINED in August 1952 by the French demographer Alfred Sauvy in the left-wing magazine L'Observateur. With the Chinese Revolution just three years old and conflict raging in Korea, political thinking was dominated by the...