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History

Britain’s Imperial Past Has Become a Battleground in the Culture Wars

The Battle for the Past

For the last decade, the question of who gets to interrogate historical questions, and why they are motivated to do so, has become very fraught in Britain. The topics that have become most central to this controversy are the British Empire, British imperialism, and ideas about race, identity and belonging in the British nation.

A Notorious Photograph From a US Massacre in the Philippines Reveals an Ugly Truth

The Scars of History

The power of photography to depict the reality of war first emerged over a century ago. Yet despite showing with greater clarity than ever events like the slaughter at Bud Dajo by the U.S. military, it has not given us a universal language of empathy that could galvanize resistance to future crimes.

The Untold Story of the Vagabond Princess Gulbadan — With Ruby Lal

The Untold Story of the Vagabond Princess Gulbadan — With Ruby Lal

Ruby Lal joins New Lines’ Rasha Elass on this week’s episode of The Lede, to discuss the fascinating life of Mughal Princess Gulbadan, who left the walled harem of her nephew Emperor Akbar in Agra to undertake a dangerous extended pilgrimage to Mecca.

Past the Medieval Horizon — with Ian Mortimer

Past the Medieval Horizon — with Ian Mortimer

“If you only count enacted violence, we've got more peaceful, but that supposes the potential violence will never be unleashed." Medieval historian Ian Mortimer joins New Lines magazine’s Lydia Wilson on The Lede to talk about what the Middle Ages tell us about life today.

How Liberal Historians Imagined a Different Path for the Balkans

How Liberal Historians Imagined a Different Path for the Balkans

A group of dissident historians once offered a remedy to the nationalist populism resurgent today: a pluralism that respects the legitimacy of multiple political currents and the rights of minorities at home, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of neighboring states abroad.

How a Satirist Captured the Maladies of the Islamic Golden Age

How a Satirist Captured the Maladies of the Islamic Golden Age

Satire is among the most powerful tools for bringing the powerful back down to earth, and al-Jahiz from ninth-century Iraq was a master of the craft. Beyond his powerful connections, his financial independence may also have helped make him one of the few writers who could speak freely, not only about the maladies of their age but also its various classes and subclasses.

The African-American Diplomat Who Helped End the Imperial Order

The African-American Diplomat Who Helped End the Imperial Order

Ralph Bunche’s hands lay behind some of the signal features of the postwar order, from peacekeeping to conflict mediation to his most significant and lasting legacy, the one that made both peacekeeping and mediation so often necessary: the dismantling of European empire.