Hsia’s book on Matteo Ricci expands the traditional narratives of the Age of Expansion and transforms our understanding of them. Beyond the Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds, early modern Europeans, Jesuits among them, also ventured to Asia.
In the study of history, it’s easy to fall back on national identities: “Irish music,” an “English accent,” “American Exceptionalism” are just a few examples. But a closer examination of the local cultures—music, dialects, history—that exist within nations demonstrates how misleading those generalizations can be. Just look through one of the British Library’s “Sound Maps” and you’ll be convinced.
The practice of child abandonment and efforts to manage it have a long history and I recently encountered a series of surviving artifacts from about 250 years ago that provide us with a rare window into the abandoned and the abandoners.
On October 25, 1924, four days before the British general election, the conservative mass-circulation newspaper, the Daily Mail, published a letter that caused a political sensation. The front-page headline read: “Civil War Plot by Socialists’ Masters: Moscow’s Orders to Our Reds: Great Plot Disclosed Yesterday.”
As I was searching for illustrations for my forthcoming book, The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West, I came across a reproduction of a detail of the painting shown here.
To what extent is national identity directed from the political center of a nation? Do individuals living on the periphery of nations have agency in defining their own national identities?
Bulgaria became one of the most important points of entry for Phillip Morris, RJ Reynolds, and other US tobacco companies to penetrate the Iron Curtain into a growing and untapped market. While the direct imports of cigarettes into the Bloc remained limited, Bloc states signed licensing agreements with US companies in the mid-1970s that resulted in the production of Marlboro (Phillip Morris) and Winston (RJ Reynolds) in local factories.
Lynne Viola’s The Unknown Gulag argues that the first and most heinous of Stalin’s notorious purges was the attack on wealthy or successful peasants known as kulaks, and their exile to desolate special settlements in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
After finishing the book, the reader will realize that its subtitle, “Explaining World War I,” is far more clever than it appears at first glance. The Pity of War offers not quite a history of the First World War, but rather a history of Great Britain and the First World War; for Ferguson, the two are inseparable.
It is well-known that decades later he made witty statements about God: that He does not play dice; that God is crafty but not malicious. Einstein famously wrote: “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”