History

The role of rituals in human history

Each December, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, among others, take over our thoughts and our wallets as we participate in ceremonies …

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Gorbachev’s appeal for peace and freedom

As a world statesman and a student of world affairs, Mikhail Gorbachev’s perspective is worth having. His 2019 book, What …

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Mikhail Gorbachev wanted to save communism, but buried it instead

The death of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, under whose leadership the communist bloc was brought to …

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How Hitler conspiracies and other Holocaust disinformation undermine democratic institutions

Godwin’s Law posits that any online argument, if it continues long enough, will inevitably invoke a comparison to Hitler. Perhaps there …

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Why the Middle Ages have such a bad reputation

“People have the right to live as they wish, we are no longer in the Middle Ages.” This statement, made …

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Moral ambiguity and the representation of genocide

On January 10 2022, the McMinn County School Board in Tennessee voted unanimously to remove Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus …

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Ukraine as a ‘borderland’: A brief history of Ukraine’s place between Europe and Russia

One interpretation of the name ‘Ukraine’ is borderland. This needs to be taken seriously. Borderlands are all about diversity and …

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Ukraine crisis: The Russian leader’s vision of the past

The day that Vladimir Putin sent Russian forces into Ukraine, President Biden spoke publicly about the sheer mendacity of Putin’s …

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Why I won’t be celebrating Australia Day on 26 January

Most nations – the United States, Greece, Finland, India, Indonesia and many others – celebrate their national day on the …

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The sordid underbelly of Christmas past

When English Puritans outlawed Christmas in 1647, it was not without good reason. When American Puritans, in turn, outlawed Christmas …

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Tolstoy’s last years

Tolstoy’s death in 1910 occurred just seven years before the Russian Revolution. His last two essays What’s To Be Done? …

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How do you spot a witch? A notorious 15th-century book gave instructions

Books have always had the power to cast a spell over their readers – figuratively. But one book that was …

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