History

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Apocalypse Then

Apocalypse Then

IN THE THIRD HORSEMAN: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century, William Rosen examines distant historical events whose contemporaneity, try as he might, cannot be denied. Between 1314 ...

Stefan Zweig and the Long Night’s Dawn

Stefan Zweig and the Long Night’s Dawn

WRITING from his American exile in the late 1940s, the Austrian novelist Hermann Broch composed a bitter indictment of the Viennese society in which he grew up, and whose exalted golden age he now vie...

The Afterlife of Pompeii

The Afterlife of Pompeii

IN POMPEII, a funny thing could happen to you on your way to the forum. Let’s say you were one of those who survived the initial waves of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, having dodged the dense h...

Pondering an Improbable Nation

Pondering an Improbable Nation

IN THIS “ASIAN CENTURY,” much global intellectual space is devoted to showering China and India, the region’s haute emerging nations, with breathless superlatives that reference their epic demog...

The Virtues of Uncertainty

The Virtues of Uncertainty

PICKING UP A BOOK entitled Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution, it is reasonable to assume that the book is critical: the title promises to damn the Court as not reliable in deli...

Finding justice for Nazis

Finding justice for Nazis

THE CRUELTY of National Socialism remains the epitome of evilness in Western imagination. Nazis continue to represent a brand of inhumanity so unthinkable that the only appropriate response would seem...

Winding Between Myth and Politics: The Silk Road

Winding Between Myth and Politics: The Silk Road

THE SILK ROAD conjures images of camel trains snaking into shimmering sand dunes and the babble of tongues bartering for the pungent spices of Asia. At the same time, it evokes a tempo quite familiar ...

Culture Shock: The Problem of Juvenile Justice

Culture Shock: The Problem of Juvenile Justice

WHEN the Center for Investigative Reporting recently visited the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall — widely considered one of the best juvenile detention centers in the country — they found remarkab...

Romania: A Tale of Two Problems

Romania: A Tale of Two Problems

IN APRIL 2012 the mayor of Bucharest, Sorin Oprescu, unveiled a statue on the steps of the National Museum of Romanian History. It was the Roman emperor Trajan standing upright, crowned with a bowl cu...

The Ghosts of the Great War

The Ghosts of the Great War

MOST AMERICANS think World War I was a botched and tragic conflict between the decrepit empires of Old Europe. As Christopher Hitchens once put it, “Probably no historical image would be harder to d...