History

A Republic If You Can Keep It

Richard D. Brown— In 1787 when Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention a lady famously asked “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” “A republic,” Franklin replied tartly, “if you can keep it.” Now, 230 years later, Franklin’s observation on our Founders’ great experiment haunts us.

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Remembering Clare Hollingworth

Ray Moseley— The legendary adventures of Clare Hollingworth’s life are such stuff as Hollywood movies are made on. And, to continue paraphrasing Prospero, her long life is rounded with a sleep that has attracted front-page headlines in Britain as well as extensive coverage in the U. S. and elsewhere. Hollingworth,

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What Washington Gets Wrong

Benjamin Ginsberg— At a Washington dinner party, I happened to mention to the woman seated to my right, an executive of Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency responsible for Americans’ health care, that a colleague and I had undertaken a survey of Washington officials to find out what the

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The View from the Postcolonial Caucasus

Rebecca Gould— High in the mountains running along the border between Azerbaijan and Georgia, in the garrison town of Zaqatala, former outpost of the famed Imam Shamil who in the mid-nineteenth century led the longest resistance to Russian rule, I meet an elderly woman crossing the street. “Come inside and

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The Political History of Fashion

Zara Anishanslin— Donald Trump’s “Make American Great Again” hat. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s ubiquitous pantsuits. In 2016, both fashion items became immediately recognizable markers of political affiliation. First the candidates themselves, and then people voting for them—men and women alike—announced their politics by wearing one or the other. Such politicized fashion

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Unveiling a Bribery Culture in the Soviet Union

James Heinzen— I first became fascinated with the social and cultural dimensions of everyday bribery in the Soviet Union when I was robbed in Moscow in 1992, just after the collapse of the USSR.  My wallet was swiped by a group of kids while I was walking in central Moscow. When

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Podcast: Paris’s Centre Pompidou

January 31st, 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the revolutionary building designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. The building launched the careers of these two Pritzker Prize-winning architects and is today one of the world’s most popular cultural institutions and the

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Allies in Africa: Strategy and Victory in World War II

Andrew Stewart— When the first shots were fired in the summer of 1940 along Sudanese and Kenyan borders, there was a great deal of interest across the British Empire in the war’s expansion into a hitherto largely ignored region. With France close to collapse, the “Italian Jackal” Benito Mussolini had

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From Sinophobia to Sinophilia

Albert Wu— Consider the following stereoscopic photograph, taken by the famous travel photographer James Ricalton in 1900 and published by the popular distributor Underwood and Underwood in a box set called China Through the Stereoscope. On first glance, the photograph appears to be a typical example of orientalist travel photography

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The Spanish Monarchy in the Mediterranean Theater

Christopher Storrs— Between the peace of Utrecht that marked the end of the War of Spanish Succession in 1713 and the close of the War of the Austrian Succession in 1748, King Philip V (1700-46), the first Spanish Bourbon, represented a greater threat to peace in Europe than any other state or

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