History

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Thomas Cromwell, a Man for All Treasons

Thomas Cromwell, a Man for All Treasons

THOMAS CROMWELL was among the most ruthless and manipulative men ever to hold office in England, a death merchant for the deranged, fickle Henry VIII, who killed and persecuted thousands of innocent m...

The Liar: The Four Personas of Adolf Eichmann

The Liar: The Four Personas of Adolf Eichmann

LIKE A FOSSIL preserved in amber, Adolf Eichmann has become fixed in popular memory as “The Man in the Glass Booth,” the Nazi kidnapped in Argentina to stand trial in Jerusalem. Although it was th...

Shock and Awe and Fear and Waste

Shock and Awe and Fear and Waste

A FEW MONTHS AGO, I saw Fury with one part of my family, and then accompanied my teenage daughters to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Having been immersed at that time in Richard Overy’s The Bo...

Whose Dublin?

Whose Dublin?

I THOUGHT I KNEW the history of my hometown, Dublin, and then I read David Dickson’s wise and stylish book. The experience has been akin to learning the ennobling backstory of someone you have taken...

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

STABBING A MAN to death isn’t easy. The men who attacked Julius Caesar had a tough time of it. You only have to look at the body to see that. The mighty leader-declared-dictator of Rome “in perp...

A Bloody Affair

A Bloody Affair

IN 1899 an international peace conference was held in The Hague to decide the laws of war. One topic discussed was the devastating armaments being used by European armies to subdue their overseas col...

What Is to Be Done?

What Is to Be Done?

IN LATE SEPTEMBER 2014, Cambridge University Press published The History Manifesto with much fanfare, making the book available as an open-access download on a website designed as a forum for debating...

Strange Bedfellows: The Modernists and the Nazis

Strange Bedfellows: The Modernists and the Nazis

SHORTLY AFTER HITLER was appointed chancellor in 1933, he ordered a competition to design the new Reichsbank in Berlin. A committee identified 30 architects to submit designs. Two of the architects we...

Where the Past Is Always in the Present Tense

Where the Past Is Always in the Present Tense

THROUGHOUT EUROPE, summer 2014 was very much a time of memory and commemoration. Marking both the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War and also the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings...

1916 Revisited

1916 Revisited

AS YOU WALK around the center of Dublin, two kinds of metal plaques — of roughly similar size — may catch your eye. One set is embedded in the sidewalks and commemorates a fictitious event: Leopol...

James Laughlin’s New Directions

James Laughlin’s New Directions

WRITERS DON’T MAKE themselves great. They don’t will themselves into prominence or create their own admiring audiences. The brilliance of their writing doesn’t elevate them from obscurity to em...