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The Best Articles of the Year: History
The Berlin Wall’s great human experiment
Twenty-five years ago this fall, a crowd of thousands gathered along the east side of the Berlin Wall and demanded, with the urgency of people who had spent decades under an authoritarian communist regime, that the border guards let them pass to the other side.
The 10 greatest changes of the past 1,000 years
Most people think of castles as representative of conflict. However, they should be seen as bastions of peace as much as war. In 1000 there were very few castles in Europe – and none in England.
The War to End All Wars? Hardly. But It Did Change Them Forever.
ZONNEBEKE, Belgium — To walk the orderly rows of headstones in the elegant graveyards that hold the dead of World War I is to feel both awe and distance. With the death of the last veterans, World War I, which began 100 years ago, has moved from memory to history.
A History Lesson That Needs Relearning
SUDDENLY the specter of the Cold War is back. Prompted by the political crisis in Ukraine, some conservatives have called for President Obama to stand up to Vladimir V.
Does It Help to Know History?
About a year ago, I wrote about some attempts to explain why anyone would, or ought to, study English in college.
Pixel perfect: the story of eBoy
It’s mid-October, and we’re strolling near the central borough of Mitte, along the yellow painted line that runs where the Berlin Wall once stood. There’s a distinct elegance to Sauerteig’s movements.
In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis
WASHINGTON — In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A.
How the Fall of the Berlin Wall Really Happened
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The opening of the Berlin Wall, 25 years ago this Sunday, marked a surprisingly joyous end to a conflict that could have erupted into thermonuclear combat.
Robert Capa’s Longest Day
Seventy years ago, the great war photographer joined the first slaughterhouse wave of D-day, recording W.W. II’s pivotal battle in 11 historic images of blur and grit. But that is only a fraction compared with what he shot—and lost.
If Franz Ferdinand Had Lived
FOR over 25 years, Archduke Franz Ferdinand paced up and down in his palaces and castles waiting impatiently for the death of the ever more ancient emperor, his hated uncle Franz Joseph I. As we all know, his wait was in vain.
What If Counterfactuals Never Existed? Studying history with hypotheticals
As everyone knows, the supreme court [:PHANDOC_SOURCE:] ruled six–three for Al Gore in the great dispute over the Florida recount in 2000. As everyone also knows, Gore emerged as the ultimate victor in that recount, and with his poetic and moving inauguration address he managed to unify a badly divided nation.
How Coffee Fueled the Civil War
It was the greatest coffee run in American history. The Ohio boys had been fighting since morning, trapped in the raging battle of Antietam, in September 1862. Suddenly, a 19-year-old William McKinley appeared, under heavy fire, hauling vats of hot coffee.
Our Own Private Germany
On a Saturday last March, my Berlin neighbors had a plant funeral. They set up three-meter-high wood crosses on our street corner and placed funeral candles all along the street, and the children drew posters of crying trees and flowers. There was live music, and everyone got quite drunk.
Bonfire of the humanities
It has long been fashionable to say that the globe is shrinking. In the wake of the telegraph, the steamship and the railway, thinkers from the late 19th century onwards often wrote of space and time being annihilated by new technologies.