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. 53, No. 11, November

9/11 ... 1910: Bernard Porter Points out Similarities and Contrasts between Terrorism Then and Now
THE PICTURE ON THIS PAGE shows an aircraft hi-jacked by anarchists and loaded with dynamite attacking the tallest New York skyscraper of its day. 'Ground zero' is in the foreground. The year is 1910. The peculiar shape of the aircraft is due to the...
Archaeology and the Ancient World
In Britain BC: Life in Britain and Ireland before the Romans (Harper Collins, 25[pounds sterling]), Francis Pryor marshals the archaeological evidence to show that British civilisation existed long before the Romans, and that pre-Roman culture continues...
Asia, Central Asia and the Far East
Mark Ravina's The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori (John Wiley and Sons, 16.50 [pounds sterling]) offers an intriguing insight into samurai culture and feudalism in Japan, as manifested in the Meiji age of the late nineteenth century....
British Sports in Imperial Russia: As Part of Our Britain and Russia Series, and Also Our Sport and Society Series, Anthony Cross Describes the Introduction of British Games to Russia
IT IS IN the NATURE of a truism that, wherever the British go, we take our games with us, to say nothing of our prejudices, our literature, our language, and other bag gage. It was not so much the burden of Empire as burdening the empire and we were...
Canada and the Americas
In Sensory Worlds in Early America (John Hopkins University Press, 29.50 [pounds sterling]) Peter Charles Hoffer examines the impact not only of social and political circumstances, but of perception and sensation on events in Northern American colonial...
Coming to Terms with the Past
THOSE WHO DO NOT REMEMBER THE PAST are condemned to repeat it.' We pay lip service to this aphorism of the George Santayana--but we don't always acknowledge that the apparently simple act of remembering the past is far easier for some than for others....
Death of Ibn Saud; November 9th, 1953
ABDUL-AZIZ IBN ABDULRAHMAN AL FAISAL AL SAUD, creator of Saudi Arabia, was in his last years one of the richest men on earth. Born in 1880 into the ruling dynasty of Riyadh when it was still an obscure little mud-walled town in the middle of the desert,...
Early Modern Britain and Europe
June Osbourne's Urbino: The Story of a Renaissance City (Frances Lincoln. 35 [pounds sterling]) tells the story of the stunning ducal city that became a Mecca for artists such as Piero della Francesca and Paolo Uccello and became the setting for Baldassare...
Eastern Europe and Russia
The Russian Moment in World History (Princeton University Press, 11.95 [pounds sterling]) by Marshall T. Poe is a concise re-examination of Russian history. James Cracraft's study The Revolution of Peter the Great (Harvard University Press, 16.95...
General History
Encyclopaedia of Wars (Eurospan, 228.50 [pounds sterling]) by Axelrod and Phillips is an ambitious study of significant conflicts, wars and revolutions from 3500 BC to the present day. Setting out to answer the topical question 'how useful is intelligence...
John, 3rd Baron Lovelace
COMMONS SENSE THIS MONTH deals not with an MP, but with a member of the House of Lords. On November 5th, 1688, an auspicious anniversary for all English Protestants William of Orange landed at Torbay. Ostensibly he had arrived in England to force his...
Kiss Me, Horatio: Margarette Lincoln and Colin White Debate the Significance of a Recently Discovered Cache of Letters from Frances Nelson to Her Husband's Prize Agent Written at the Time of the Collapse of Her Marriage to Britain's Greatest Naval Hero
A SERIES OF seventy-two letters, written by Frances, Lady Nelson, to her husband's prize agent, Alexander Davison, was discovered in 2001 by Martyn Downer of Sotheby's--literally in a trunk in the attic of the home of one of Davison's direct descendants....
London and England
Peter Ackroyd's Illustrated London (Chatto & Windus, 25 [pounds sterling]) is a welcome supplement to his best-selling volume London: The Biography and contains more than 200 images, including drawings, maps, paintings and modern graphics. Kenneth...
Lone Assassins: Forty Years after the Fatal Assassination of JFK, during Which Time Conspiracy Theories Have Flourished, Andrew Cook Returns to the Idea of the Unaided Assassin, and Finds Several Twentieth-Century Examples
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY saw a number of historically significant assassinations, some carried out by lone assassins, others involving one or more accomplices. With JFK's assassination oil November" 22nd, 1963, and the shooting two days later, live on...
Military History Today: Jeremy Black Calls for a More Wide-Ranging, Inclusive Approach to the History of Warfare
DRUMS AND TRUMPETS' history, offering a narrative account of battles and campaigns, much of it written for a general readership, is flourishing. While much of this popular work--Andrew Gordon on Jutland, for example, or Rory Muir on Salamanca--is thoughtful...
Publish or Be Damned: David Johnson Describes the Infamous Marriage Act of 1753, Which Made Marriage a Tightly-Regulated Institution Governed by Church and State
A WEDDING IS A PUBLIC OCCASION, as Mr. Justice Lindsay reminded actress Catherine Zeta Jones in High Court when she sued for damages over unauthorized photographs of her big day. Indeed, for religious ceremonies, the Book of Common Prayer specifically...
Stand Up and Be Counted: Mark Steel, Stand-Up Comedian and Presenter of History on Television and Radio, Describes How Punk Rock Helped Politicise a Generation, and Whet His Own Appetite for Enquiring about the Past
A LOT OF PEOPLE define themselves by their cultural or ethnic group. Me, I come from a small town in Kent. It's not even Kentish, but where Kent meets the London sprawl; somewhere the whole purpose, the whole pride of the place was that it was cultureless....
Sydney Rock Art
Samantha Mattila reports on the discovery of valuable new additions to Sydney's rock art. A 4,000-YEAR-OLD) RECORD of Australian Aboriginal rock art hidden by an inhospitable location has been revealed at a cave just outside Sydney. Australian Museum's...
The Bolshevik-Menshevik Split; November 16th, 1903
THE FIFTY-SEVEN delegates to the Second Congress of the minuscule, quarrelsome and apparently ineffectual Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party assembled in a flea-ridden flour warehouse in Brussels on July 30th, 1903. Georgi Plekhanov, the respected...
The Dictators, the Second World War and the Holocaust
The psychologist David Lewis sets out to explain how psychiatric treatment in 1918 helped Hitler transform himself from a drifter and a frustrated artist into the most charismatic leader of the 20th century, in The Man Who Invented Hider (Headline,...
The Early Stuarts and Hampton Court; Simon Thurley Explains Why the First Stuarts Kept the Great Tudor Palace Virtually Intact
THE REIGNS OF the first two Stuart kings are frequently seen as an artistic golden age. A new style in architecture, painting, drama, music and sculpture swept the educated elite, and the new style was centred on the royal court. We are used to seeing...
The Eighteenth Century
Enlightenment: Discovering the World in the Eighteenth Century (British Museum, 29.95 [pounds sterling]) edited by Kim Sloan, shows how information about the world was collected and organised two hundred years ago, in a colourful volume of essays associated...
The First World War
Bert Frandsen studies the American 1st Pursuit Group in Ha in the Ring: The Birth of the American Air Power in the Great War (Smithsonian Books, $32.95). Hugh Strachan's The First World War (Simon and Schuster, 25 [pounds sterling]) is a riveting...
The German People's Day of Mourning
Gabriel Fawcett investigates how the Germans commemorate the losses they sustained in the First and Second World Wars. 'I HAD AN INVITATION for the ceremony here, but now I see it was for yesterday not today. Shame, I would love to have taken part,'...
The Great Storm; November 24th, 1703
THE WEEK-LONG; hurricane that struck the south of England and the English Channel at the end of the month was beyond anything in living memory. John Evelyn described it in his diary as 'not to be paralleled with anything happening in our age or in...
The Ideal of Unity; Russell Chamberlin Examines the Origins and Development of Europe's Persistent Vision of Unity from the Birth of the Holy Roman Empire to Its Fall
NEITHER HOLY, NOR ROMAN, NOR AN EMPIRE'. Voltaire's gibe about the Holy Roman Empire was literally true but, like all such glib gibes missed the essential point. For a thousand years people believed it existed or thought it ought to exist. For a thousand...
The Medieval World
The two-volume Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia, edited by Christopher Kleinhenz and Richard Lansing (Routledge, 205 [pounds sterling]), is the first A-Z reference devoted to this churning nexus of European civilisation, with over 1,000 entries. ...
The Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
Edward Pearce offers a vivid account of one of the crucial Parliamentary debates of the 19th century in Reform!: The Fight for the Reform Act 1830-1832 (Jonathan Cape, 20[pounds sterling]). Using case studies from the old Bailey, Joel Peter Eigen...
The Postwar World
Peter Kornbluh's investigates the reasons behind America's collaboration with the Chilean dictator in The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability (The New New Press, 18.95 [pounds sterling]). A CD of unedited recordings...
The Shrine of Islam's Tragic Divisions
Corinne Atkins examines the events in Iraq in the 7th century AD, which precipitated the first and only great division of Islam, the ramifications of which are seen today in Iraq and more widely. ON AUGUST 29TH, 2003, A HUGE CAR BOMB went off in...
Top of the Pots
A new exhibition opening at the British Museum this month spotlights some of the finest trophies of British archaeology, as well as the people who found them. BURIED TREASURE: FINDING OUR PAST' is the first major British archaeological exhibition...
Transition, History and Human Rights; 'A Country without Justice or Memory Does Not Have a Destiny.'
SPEAKING SHORTLY AFTER HIS VICTORY in the May 2003 Argentine elections, the new President Nestor Kirchner's forthright manner struck a chord with his compatriots. During the military dictatorship of the 1970s, some 30,000 people died--the so-called...
Trench Art: Nicholas J. Saunders Explores the Ways in Which Humans Make Art from Objects of Death, in Conflicts Spanning the Napoleonic to Bosnian Wars
'TRENCH ART' is the popular name given to a group of objects in which human lives are captured in creations, trapping a spark of the human spirit in the extremes of total war. Apart from the visual appeal and technical virtuosity of individual pieces,...

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