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. 3, March

A Tale of Two Libraries
AMONG THE MANY ORGANIZATIONS we rely on to produce this magazine each month, two of the finest are the London Library and the British Library. The privately-run and hugely helpful London Library offers an incredible collection, with a civilized policy...
Best of History 2006
THE 'VOICE OF HISTORY' was heard loud and clear when the Historical Association, was awarded the prestigious Longman History Today Trustees Award early in January at a party hosted by History Today at the National Army Museum. Adam Tooze of Jesus College,...
British Made: Abolition and the Africa Trade: Kevin Shillington Looks at the Impact on Africa of the Slave Trade, and Its Abolition 200 Years Ago This Month
[ILLUSTRATIONS OMITTED] MARCH 2007 MARKS THE 200th anniversary of the Act of Parliament that officially ended direct British involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. The Act of 1807 made it illegal for British ships to transport captive Africans...
Coming as Liberators: Kristian Ulrichsen Believes That the Politicians and Planners Behind the 2003 Invasion Ignored the Lessons of the First British Occupation of Iraq, Which Began with the Capture of Baghdad from the Ottomans, Ninety Years Ago This Month
ON MARCH 11TH, 1917, British and Indian soldiers of the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force (MEF) marched into Baghdad and occupied it in order to restore order and halt the looting that had followed the city's evacuation by Ottoman forces the previous...
Death of Cesare Borgia: March 12th, 1507
THE BORGIAS CAME FROM SPAIN originally and the most famous of them died there, killed at the age of thirty-one in a minor skirmish by attackers who did not even know who he was. Christened Cesare, which would give him the welcome opportunity to take...
Footprints of History: Giorgio Riello and Peter McNeil Find Shoes a Fascinating Key to Social Mores, and Discuss What Choice and Design of Footwear Can Tell Us about Morality, Mobility and Sexuality in Europe over the Centuries
SHOES, LIKE OTHER OBJECTS, can illuminate specific aspects of the past. Through their survival, and material appearance--their texture, weight and design, they can convey abstract historical concepts, and also by their human associations and suggestions...
Friends of Foes? the Islamic East and the West: Christopher J. Walker Asks Whether the Two Religions That Frequently Appear Locked in an Inevitable Clash of Civilizations in Fact Share More Than Has Often Been Thought
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM are often perceived to be elemental foes. Their antagonism is frequently assumed to be one of the iron facts of history; and perhaps those who see them as condemned to permanent hostility are right....
Ghana's Golden Coast: This West African State Was a Focus of the Slave Trade for Centuries, and the First African Colony to Win Independence, Exactly Fifty Years Ago. Graham Gendall Norton Finds Lots of History to Explore
THE FIRST OF THE AFRICAN MEMBERS of the Commonwealth to become independent--on March 6th, 1957--the former Gold Coast colony took a new name, Ghana, from one of the ancient empires of West Africa. To Prime Minister (later President) Kwame Nkrumah,...
If You Go Down to the Woods Today
CHILDREN'S DOLLS, WHEN NOT IN HUMAN FORM, have often been based on cartoon characters, from Mickey Mouse, Felix the Cat, Bonzo the Dog and Bugs Bunny in the 1920s and 30s to Snoopy, Garfield and Pingu in more recent times. Bears have also been popular--Rupert,...
Italy's Fascist War: Philip Morgan Explains Why Italians Have Tended to Gloss over the Period 1940-43, When Mussolini Fought against the Allies, Preferring to Remember the Years of German Occupation 1943-45
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IN JUNE 1940, AFTER NINE MONTHS of an embarrassing and uncongenial stance of 'non-belligerency', the Italian Fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, declared war on Britain and France. It was to be a 'revolutionary' war, a Fascist...
Lloyd George Knew My Great-Great Grandmother: Dan Snow, Who Has Explored Historic Battles on Television with His Father Peter, Tells Peter Furtado about the Rich Collection of Stories Surrounding His Family over the Last Century
I DON'T EXACTLY HAVE A MILITARY BACKGROUND, but ever since I left university I've been researching, presenting and writing about military history; so I feel I've had a career in history even if not a traditional academic route. I was on the verge of...
Now You See It ... Now You Don't ... as a New Exhibition on the History of Camouflage Opens at the Imperial War Museum This Month, Tim Newark Reveals the Contribution Made by English Surrealists to Wartime Defiance Schemes
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] SURREALISM BURST ONTO THE ENGLISH art scene in 1936 with an exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries in London. It was organized by Roland Penrose, a Surrealist painter and collector then in his mid-30s. His greatest coup...
The Dark Side of the Moon: John Kennedy's Commitment to Put a Man on the Moon in the 1960s Is Often Quoted-Most Recently by Gordon Brown-As an Inspired Civic Vision. Gerard DeGroot Sees the Reality Somewhat Differently
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE SOVIET LAUNCH OF Sputnik on October 4th, 1957, plunged the American people into black despair. In one dramatic stroke, the Russians had undermined the credibility of the United States as a modern, dynamic nation. Worse...
'The End Is Nigh': At a Moment When 'End-Timers' Are Said to Hold Sway in Washington, Penelope J. Corfield Considers How Catastrophic Visions of the End of the World Have Recurred-Throughout History, in All Societies and Religions
SCIENTISTS WHO RESEARCH THE FUTURE OF THE COSMOS debate the possibility of a cataclysmic Big Crunch that will end everything--the inverse of the Big Bang that is the generally favoured model of cosmic origins. However, it is hard to get personally...
The End of the Anglo-Persian War: March 4th, 1857
IN ALL SIXTY-THREE YEARS OF QUEEN VICTORIA'S REIGN, there was not one in which British soldiers were not fighting somewhere in the world for queen, country and empire. The minor Anglo-Persian conflict of 1856-57 was fought in Persia, but the bone of...
The Execution of Admiral Byng: March 14th, 1757
A QUIET, SHY MAN, the unfortunate John Byng was no coward--he faced his death with cool courage--but he seems to have been too cautious, passive and defeatist for command in the British navy. He went to sea at thirteen and rose up the ladder to captain...
The Nefarious Trade: Britain's First Anti-Slavery Act Was Ineffective, Says Marika Sherwood-British Slave Traders Found Ways around It to Carry on Their Profitable Activities, While British Commerce Flourished through the Import of Slave-Grown Cotton
WITHIN DAYS OF THE 1807 ANTI-SLAVERY ACT coming into force, British slave traders were already deploying a number of ruses to circumvent it--as it had taken some twenty years for Parliament to pass the Act, there had been plenty of time to figure these...
What's in Store? Andrew Ellis Introduces a Huge On-Going Project to Publish a Series of Catalogues Showing Every Oil Painting in Public Ownership in the United Kingdom
THE WALLS OF THE FIRE STATION IN RYDE, on the Isle of Wight, boast a nineteenth-century painting depicting a heroic fire brigade officer passing to anxious parents in evening dress their children rescued from a fire. The work is by William George Home...
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