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. 9, September

Asking Big Questions
AS ANOTHER ACADEMIC YEAR comes round, so the question of what and how history should be taught in British classrooms is yet again in the spotlight. At the end of last term, the two bodies most responsible for educational standards got involved. The...
China's First Empire: Michael Loewe Looks at the Dynastic, Administrative and Intellectual Background of the Qin Empire, Which Defined How China Would Be Run for More Than 2,000 Years, and at the Life and Achievements of the First Emperor Shi Huangdi, One of the Greatest State-Builders of History, Whose Tomb Was Guarded by the Famous Terracotta Army
THE KINGS OF WESTERN ZHOU ruled from a small part of northwest China (present-day Shaanxi province) from 1045 BC. Their rule was long revered as a Chinese 'golden age' but in 771, overcome by dissension and subject to hostile intrusion, they were forced...
Crisis at Central High: John A. Kirk Recalls the Dramatic Events at Little Rock, Arkansas, Fifty Years Ago This Month, When a Stand-Off over the Granting of Black Students Access to Integrated Education Brought the Civil Rights Agenda to International Attention
ON THE MORNING OF Wednesday, September 4th, 1957, fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Ann Eckford prepared for her first day of classes at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Leaving anxious parents behind, she caught the bus and alighted just a short...
Darkest Peru: Peter Furtado Visits Some Remarkable Sites Rivalling Machu Picchu, the Endangered Inca Hilltop City Which Was Recently Voted One of the Seven Wonders of the World
VIRTUALLY ALL THE CULTURAL TOURISTS TO PERU make for the Inca honeypots of Cusco and Machu Picchu, but this vast and diverse country has one of the richest archaeological heritages in the world, and one that continues to produce remarkable new finds...
Hearts and Hearths: Anne Sebba Ponders Some Mysteries-Or Coincidences-That Link the Adult Experiences of Frances Hodgson Burner with the Lives of American Women Who Came to Britain in Search of Marriage in Her Newly Reissued 1907 Novel the Shuttle
A HUNDRED YEARS AGO Frances Hodgson Burnett, the well-known children's author, published a hard-hitting novel for adults about an unhappy transatlantic marriage. It was called The Shuttle, a reference to the numerous steamships that for over fifty...
India's Missing Historians: Mihir Bose Discusses the Paradox That India, a Land of History, Has a Surprisingly Weak Tradition of Historiography
INDIA, THE LAND OF CONTRASTS, presents no greater contrast than this: in a land rich in history there is a dearth of native historians, particularly those willing to tackle big subjects. Few academic historians are ready to explain how modern India...
In the Eye of the Storm: Dale Hanks, a National Guardsman in Little Rock in 1957, Describes His Recollection of the Events at Central High
AFTER A MOB of a thousand outraged segregationists gathered at Little Rock Central High on September 23rd, 1957, and the police slipped the Nine in through a side entrance, a volcano of hate erupted in the rabble. By noon, the Little Rock police chief...
'J'accuse ... !': Cartoons of the Dreyfus Affair: Mark Bryant Looks at the Way Caricaturists Viewed the Scandal Engulfing France at the End of the 19th Century
THE TRIAL Or CAPTAIN DREYFUS of the French Army was a major cause celebre at the end of the nineteenth century, pitting the Catholic church, royalists and the military against republicans, radicals and socialists. Not only did it generate a huge amount...
Lucky Break: David Nicholas Reveals the Skill and Good Fortune Behind Britain's First World War Intelligence Operation, and the Coup by Which the Zimmerman Telegram Was Cracked, Tipping the Balance in Getting the US to Join the Allied War Effort
EVERYBODY NOW KNOWS that the Second World War was significantly shortened thanks to the team at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, who cracked the code of the German Enigma machine, enabling the British to overcome the devastating U-boat campaign in the...
Mad Dogs and Englishmen: Neil Pemberton and Michael Worboys Tell the Fascinating Story of How Rabies-A Disease That Still Kills Thousands Worldwide Every Year-Was Eradicated from Britain
ON SEPTEMBER 8TH 2007, the Alliance for Rabies Control, supported by the Center for Disease Control in the United States, aims to raise awareness of the 50,000 human deaths each year from this preventable and treatable disease. World Rabies Day will...
Making History Matter: David Gaimster, General Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Introduces a New Exhibition He Has Curated at the Royal Academy Focusing on the Tercentenary of the Society of Antiquaries, and Explains How the Society Shaped Ideas of British History over That Time
A TAVERN WAS THE BACKDROP for a seminal moment in the making of British history, when on December 5th, 1707, at the Bear on the Strand, a small gathering of three men met to discuss matters of antiquity. The meeting was prove the genesis of the Society...
One Family's Tryst with Destiny: As India Celebrates Six Decades of Independence on This Year, Examines How, in the World's Largest Democracy, One Family Has Come to Take Centre Stage in Politics, as If by Divine Right
FOR FORTY OF THE SIXTY YEARS SINCE INDEPENDENCE, a member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has ruled as prime minister in India. The family came to personify the struggles and triumphs of the entire nation--an identification they did everything to promote....
Picking Up the Pieces: Jonathan Downs Looks at a Collection of Egyptian Pottery Sherds Discovered at the National Trust's Mansion, Kingston Lacy, in Dorset
IN 1982, WHEN THE NATIONAL TRUST acquired Kingston Lacy, the Dorset home of Egyptologist William John Bankes (1786-1855), there was an untold amount of material to collate and catalogue--in particular, a collection of Egyptian relics gathered in the...
Round & About: September 2007
Howden Heritage Weekend September 8th-9th Avory Brown, coordinator Tel: 01430431782 www.heritageopendays.org.uk Howdenshire's transport heritage is the focus of a programme of events in this East Riding market town and its surrounding...
September's Anniversaries: A King Enters the World Stage, Some Earls Depart and Somthing Rotten Happens to the State of Denmark ... Richard Cavendish Looks at This Month's Anniversaries
Birth of Richard the Lionheart September 8th, 1157 IT WOULD HAVE BEEN HARD to find a more driving, ambitious and fiercely competitive family to be born into, but Richard would hold his own. He was the third surviving child of Henry II, one of...
Talking to History: Laurence Rees, Whose Work as a TV Historian Has Brought Him Face to Face with Many People Involved in Mass Killings, Discusses the Opportunities and Dangers of Oral History
'I've GOT GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS,' a junior researcher said as he walked into my office some years ago. 'The good news is that the former Gestapo man we found has finally agreed to give us an interview.' [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] 'Excellent,' I...
The Journey to War: Woodrow Wilson and American Pacifism: Paul Brewer Looks at the Politics Behind US Involvement in the First World War and How President Woodrow Wilson Dealt with Those Americans Who Campaigned against It
ON JUNE 15TH, 1917, the US Congress passed the Espionage Act. American entry into the First World War, by a declaration passed by Congress on April 6th, 1917, also brought legislation that would enable the prosecution of those working with the enemy...
The Other Rights of Man: The Revolutionary Plan of Thomas Spence: Alastair Bonnett Tells the Little-Known but Extraordinary 'Rags to Rags' Story of a Radical Maverick of the Early 19th Century
THOMAS SPENCE WAS THE most stubborn revolutionary of his age. Contemporaries described him as 'querulous' and 'single-minded'. One obituary observed he was 'despised', yet 'not despicable'. But who was Thomas Spence? And why did he excite such passions?...
War in Paradise: Jonathan Phillips Explains How Damascus, 'Paradise of the Orient' and a Spiritual Home for Muslims, Became a Major Battleground of the Second Crusade; One in Which the Resistance of Its People, Coupled with the Tactical Errors on the Part of the Crusaders Made It a Turning Point in the Fortunes of the Christian Cause in the Levant
Damascus is the Paradise of the Orient ... the seal of the lands of Islam and the bride of the cities we have observed ... By Allah, they spoke troth who said: 'If Paradise is on the Earth then Damascus without doubt is in it. If it is in the sky,...