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.”
On a research trip last summer, I found a previously unidentified thirteenth-century manuscript in a library in Poznan, Poland, and recognized that it contains the writings of a late twelfth-century monk named Engelhard of Langheim. One of the Latin texts in this manuscript is the saintly biography of a religious woman named Mechtilde of Diessen.
On September 13, 2011, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues released its report on the syphilis experiments conducted by the US government in Guatemala in the 1940s. Over 1300 prisoners, prostitutes, psychiatric patients, and soldiers in Guatemala were infected with sexually transmissible diseases (through supervised sexual relations among other methods), in an attempt to better understand treatments for diseases such as syphilis.