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. 56, No. 12, December

A Liberal Dose of Power: York Membery Sings the Praises of the Great Wartime Leader on the Ninetieth Anniversary of His Coming to Power
'COMETH THE HOUR, COMETH THE MAN', it's said. And ninety years ago this month (on December 7th, 1916), at a time of great national peril, Britain got the prime minister it so desperately needed: Lloyd George (1863-1945). It was anything but a smooth...
Beyond the Playground: Charlotte Crow Steps Inside the V&A Museum of Childhood in London's East End, Where the Second Phase of a 4.7 Million [Pounds Sterling] Development Has Just Reached Completion
WHAT EXACTLY SHOULD A MUSEUM of Childhood be? Most people who like visiting museums have strong views about what works and what does not, but responses seem to be all the more opinionated in the case of childhood, an experience we all share--albeit...
December's Anniversaries: When Castro: When Castro Washed Up ... an Elementary Beginning ... a Bittersweet Symphony ... Richard Cavendish Looks at This Month's Anniversaries
Fidel Castro's Invasion of Cuba: December 2nd, 1956 IT WAS LESS AN INVASION THAN A SHIPWRECK, as one of the participants remarked. Eighty-two men had spent a week squashed into a battered 21-metre yacht called the Granma, which Fidel Castro had...
Dickens: A Debt to Cartoons: Cartoon Historian Mark Bryant Looks at the Origins of Some of Dickens' Best-Loved Characters, and Finds Clues in the Work of Cartoonists of the Novelist's Youth
MANY POLITICAL CARTOONISTS have also been book illustrators. An obvious example is John Tenniel, who both worked as the main political cartoonist on Punch for nearly forty years and also drew the illustrations for the first and best-known versions...
France 1956: The Decisive Moment: Martin Evans Looks at the Events of 1956 and the French War on Terror, Both at Home and Elsewhere, and How This Was a Turning Point for French Fortunes in the Algerian War of Independence
NINETEEN FIFTY SIX BEGAN WITH 27 MILLION citizens going to the polls on January 2nd, the third general election since the establishment of the Fourth Republic in 1946: but few commentators could have predicted such a momentous twelve months in modern...
Homes in the Country? A Recent Government Initiative Suggests Britain Is Failing in Its Policies towards Children in Care. Jad Adams Explains How Similar Concerns a Hundred Years Ago Lay Behind the Development of the First Children's 'Village Homes'
'I WAS WEARING A RED DRESS and holding tight to a lady's hand. I was four years old. We came to some very large iron gates. The lady rang the bell and a man came out to unlock the gates and let us in. Bang went the gates behind us. We were taken into...
Krakow: Sebastian Wormell Introduces the Polish City That Survived the Worst of the Second World War
KRAKOW'S RYNEK GLOWNY is one of the great medieval squares of Europe. Its huge scale (the sides are 200 metres long) and the great burghers' houses that surround it, the soaring brick church of St Mary at its northeast corner, the great Cloth Hall...
Lebanon's Shi'as: A Long March out of the Shadows: While Hezbollah Again Hit the Headlines during the Summer, Its Historical Roots Are Less Familiar. Andrew Arsan Traces the Political Emergence of the Shi'a Community in Lebanon
ON THE MORNING OF JULY 12TH 2006, a group of Hezbollah fighters stole across the border between Lebanon and Israel and, after engaging in a firefight with an Israeli patrol, abducted two soldiers. This incident marked the outbreak of a month-long conflict...
Playing the King: George Bernard Shaw Influenced the Abdication Crisis with a Short Play That Has Been Forgotten in the Last Seventy Years. Stanley Weintraub Remembers It, and We Reproduce It on Our Website
IN EARLY DECEMBER 1936, Britain was shaken by newspaper reports of Edward VIII's affair with the American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. 'England promptly went mad,' writer Hesketh Pearson recalled. 'Archbishops, bishops, peers, cabinet ministers, debated...
Reading History
IT IS RUMOURED THAT George W. Bush's preferred reading recently has been Andrew Roberts' updating for the twentieth century of Winston Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples. This is encouraging news for those who fear that our leaders...
'Resonable Creatures': A Common Sense Guide to Childcare: Alysa Levene Explores the Ideas of William Cadogan Whose Enlightened Ideas on Raising Healthy and Happy Babies in the Mid-18th Century Pre-Dated Those of Rousseau and Contributed to a More Permissive and Relaxed Attitude to Child-Rearing
AS A SOCIETY, WE spend substantial amounts of time, money and effort on raising our children. Childhood has become privileged as a formative time of life, and also one which should be enjoyed. Parents and governments alike thus exercise both brains...
The First Christmas: Geza Vermes Looks at the Christmas Stories in the Bible with a Historian's Eye
Christian Tradition offers the faithful a simple and charming version of the birth of Jesus. It is regularly recounted in Christmas sermons, re-enacted in nativity plays and recreated on the great canvasses of religious art over the centuries. In...
The First Christmas Tree: Alison Barnes Sets the Record Straight on Who Was Really Responsible for Introducing This Popular Custom to Britain
PRINCE ALBERT, QUEEN VICTORIA'S CONSORT, is usually credited with having introduced the Christmas tree into England in 1840. However, the honour of establishing this tradition in the United Kingdom rightfully belongs to 'good Queen Charlotte', the...
The Long Goodbye: Forget Tony Blair or Margaret Thatcher, Says Klaus Larres; Winston Churchill Was the Supreme Prevaricator When It Came to Giving Up Power
EVER SINCE TONY BLAIR, nearly two years ago, became a lame-duck prime minister, by announcing that he would not seek a fourth term in office and would give his successor plenty of time to settle in, speculation about the date of his retirement has...
The Victoria Cross: As the 150th Anniversary of the Victoria Cross Is Celebrated, Richard Vinen Looks beyond the Individual Acts of Heroism That Have Merited the Honour, to the Wider Social, Cultural and Historical Significance of the Medal
THE HIGHEST MEDAL for gallantry awarded to members of the British armed forces, the Victoria Cross (VC), was instituted in 1856. Since that time, a huge body of literature has grown up around it. Much writing on the subject involves recounting particular...
Who Do I Think I Am? Nick Barratt, Presenter of Television Programmes That Take People Back to the Archives, Explains How He Found His Own Way into the Dusty Vaults
I WOULD BE HARD PRESSED TO SAY that I had a great natural aptitude for--or indeed interest in--history at school; I come from a family of mathematicians. My uncle was Professor of Maths at Illinois University, Chicago, while my father was a bank manager,...