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. 59, No. 11, November

A Fairly Short Introduction to 'Very Short Introductions'
Far from being a novelty of our own 'dumbed down' era, the 'very short introduction' by which academics open up a big topic in a small compass for general readers has a long history of its own. As Leslie Howsam has shown in a recent history of history...
Read preview Overview
A Story of Birth, Death and Rebirth: A Major New Book and BBC Television Series Tell the Long, Complex and Often Surprising History of Christianity. Writer and Presenter Diarmaid MacCulloch Talks about His Huge Undertaking with Paul Lay
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Having written acclaimed studies of Thomas Cranmer, Edward VI and the European Reformation, Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford, is supremely qualified to write a history...
Read preview Overview
Atomic Medicine: Military Concerns Drove the Development of Nuclear Weapons. but a By-Product of This Huge Deployment of Scientific Resources by the US and the UK Was an Upsurge in Biological Research Leading to a New Age of Regenerative Medicine. Alison Kraft Discusses the History of Stem Cell Biology
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The detonation of atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 announced to the world the arrival of the 'atomic age'. Twelve years later, a team in New York led by E. Donnall Thomas reported...
Read preview Overview
Between the Lines: The Messages Sent by British Soldiers of the First World War to Their Loved Ones Back Home Have Long Been Valued for What They Tell Us about Daily Life in the Trenches. but Their Authors Were Often at Pains Not to Reveal Too Much of the Horror and Pain They Endured. Anthony Fletcher Considers What These Valuable Documents Reveal about the Men's Inner Lives
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] By 1917 the British Expeditionary Force was sending home eight million letters a week. During the Great War, more than 12 million were despatched weekly to the Western Front. Letters bound families across Britain in a web...
Read preview Overview
City of (Red) Lights: As a New Installation at the National Gallery Recreates Amsterdam's Red-Light District, Melanie Abrams Traces the History of Dutch Liberalism
There is a vibrant area in the heart of Amsterdam which dates from the 13th century. It is characterised by canals, narrow streets and even narrower alleyways and is lined with tall, thin 17th-century houses built during the city's Golden Age. Inside...
Read preview Overview
Dr Trelawney's Cabinet of Historical Curiosities: This Month's Subject: Rats
Bishop of London Charles Blomfield (1786-1857), known to his friends as 'Tit', rose rapidly though the ranks of the clergy thanks to his acceptance of the wealthy and fashionable living of St. Botolph without Bishopsgate. The preferred candidate...
Read preview Overview
From the Editor
When the Staffordshire Hoard, as it has come to be known, was put on public display at the end of September, thousands of people descended upon Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to view this remarkable collection of Anglo-Saxon metalwork. Suddenly,...
Read preview Overview
Genius Eclipsed: The Fate of Robert Boyle: The Natural Philosopher and Scientist Robert Boyle Was Revered in His Time for His Pioneering Enquiry into a Wide Range of Natural Phenomena. Yet within Half a Century of His Death He Was Almost Forgotten, Overshadowed by His Contemporary Isaac Newton
In April 1733 the Gentleman's Magazine announced a competition to celebrate the installation of a bust of the natural philosopher, Robert Boyle (1627-91), in the Hermitage, a structure erected in the royal gardens at Richmond by Queen Caroline, wife...
Read preview Overview
Hanging on to the Jewel in the Crown: A Century Ago, the British Authorities in India Passed a Series of Reforms That They Hoped Would Appease the Subcontinent's Increasingly Confident Political Movements. but, Writes Denis Judd, It Was Too Little, Too Late
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] India was Britain's greatest and most prestigious imperial possession. The achievement of ruling roughly 80 per cent of the empire's population with a few hundred British administrators and an army drawn primarily from the...
Read preview Overview
House of Lords Rejects the 'People's Budget': November 30th, 1909
Brought up in poverty in Wales after his father's death when he was a baby, David Lloyd George grew up with a magnetic personality and a profound sympathy with the poor. He visited the House of Commons when he was 18 and confided to his diary that...
Read preview Overview
Master of the Multiple Viewpoint: Continuing Our New Series in Which Historians Delve into the Extensive Archive of History Today, Jeremy Black Examines A.J.P. Taylor's Account of the Crimean War, Published in February 1951
A.J.P. Taylor, in explaining why the Crimean War occurred and, more crucially, its short, medium and long-term consequences, displayed his mastery of international history and, in particular, his ability to understand and then integrate multiple viewpoints....
Read preview Overview
Open House Georgian Style: A Revolution in Sociability Took Place among the Genteel and 'Middling' Classes of 18th-Century England, as Visiting Friends of Similar Social Status Became a Leisure Pursuit in Itself, Especially among Women
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In 18th-century England, the arrival of a wife transformed a man's house. The Reading distiller Edward Belson bought new printed paper hangings and bed curtains in order to refurbish his old bedroom to receive a wife in 1710;...
Read preview Overview
Remember, Remember. Mark Bryant Looks at the Rich Tradition of Cartoons and Caricatures Inspired by the Gunpowder Plot
The 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill James I, his family and most of Britain's politicians and aristocracy also occasioned one of the country's first ever political prints, more than 70 years before the birth of William...
Read preview Overview
Sarko's Shock to Research: The French President's Decision to Introduce a Competitive Anglo-Saxon Model for Research Funding Has Led to Mass Revolt. but Few Disagree That Gallic Higher Education Is in Need of Reform
In the spring and summer France's universities were paralysed by strikes by academics and students. The trigger for revolt was the research revolution proposed in January by the right-wing President Nicolas Sarkozy. Describing the present top-down...
Read preview Overview
'That Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze ...': November 12th, 1859
Jules Leotard, the French acrobat who performed the first flying trapeze act on record at the Cirque Napoleon in Paris in 1859, was the daring young man who 'flies through the air with the greatest of ease' in the music hall song. He also left his...
Read preview Overview
The Call of the Crusades: An Idea Promoted by Pope Urban II at the End of the 11th Century Continues to Resonate in Modern Politics. Jonathan Phillips Traces the 800-Year History of 'Crusade' and Its Power as a Concept That Shows No Sign of Diminishing
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Crusade: according to circumstance, either a toxic byword for conflict between Christians and Muslims or a shorthand for what people believe to be a good and worthy cause. In the former context one might quote Osama bin Laden...
Read preview Overview
The Passing of a Dynasty: The Careers of the Three Kennedy Brothers Defined the Politics of America in the 1960s, a Decade That Began amid Vigour and Optimism and Ended in Scandal and Cynicism. Yet Still They Fascinate
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The death earlier this year of Edward Moore Kennedy prompted many pundits and historians to revisit and reevaluate the Kennedy phenomenon. How has a family with such a chequered public reputation managed to dominate the American...
Read preview Overview
The Rise of Women in Ancient Greece: Michael Scott Looks at How a Time of Crisis in the Fourth Century BC Proved a Dynamic Moment of Change for Women in the Greek World
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The sources that survive from ancient Greece are overwhelmingly written by men for men. The surviving physical evidence--temples, buildings and battle memorials--all speak of a man's world. Surviving works of art feature women...
Read preview Overview
Turks Delight in Change: November 24th, 1934
After Turkey's defeat in the First World War and the destruction of the Ottoman Empire the sultanate was abolished and in 1923 the country became a republic with the army's commander-in-chief, Mustafa Kemal, as president. Ruling Turkey as virtual dictator...
Read preview Overview
What Does the Staffordshire Hoard Mean to Historians? the Public Unveiling of an Extraordinary Collection of Anglo-Saxon Metalwork Was Reported in a Crass and Trivial Way, Says Justin Pollard. He Considers Its True Significance
The media spotlight swung on to the Staffordshire Hoard of Anglo-Saxon metalwork when this remarkable treasure was revealed to the world's press in Birmingham on September 24th. Then, just as quickly, it moved on, leaving anyone with an interest in...
Read preview Overview