Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual meeting with top military officials in Moscow on Dec. 24, 2019.

The Rise and Rise of Vladimir Putin

New Yorker staff writer Masha Gessen on how the Russian president is planning to rule for life.

Demonstrators burn a U.S. flag as they stand atop the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 9, 1979, after storming the embassy and taking hostages. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

A Fateful Decision That Led to the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis

The journalist David Kirkpatrick on how President Jimmy Carter was pressured into letting the Shah of Iran into the United States.

Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani

The Persian Puzzle—Iran, Iraq, and the United States

What a trove of leaked Iranian cables tells us about Iran’s influence in Iraq.

Afghan Taliban militants and residents stand on an armored vehicle

The Truth About the U.S. War in Afghanistan

Former Pakistani Ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani on how the Taliban won.


The Documentaries of 2019

A look back at the documentaries we featured on First Person in the past year.


The Books of 2019

A look back at the books we featured on First Person in the past year.


The Jumper

Eugene Hasenfus, Private Contractor

People gather for a demonstration organized by the Campaign Against Antisemitism

Corbyn and Anti-Semitism

How allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party became a central issue in Britain’s election campaign.

Fighters from the Islamic State group parade

An American in Mosul

Journalist Mike Giglio provides an eyewitness account of a key battle against the Islamic State.

Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force

Iranian Spy Games Revealed

What a trove of leaked Iranian cables tells us about Iran’s influence in Iraq.

Activists of the Ukrainian far-right party National Corps salute

How to Reverse the Global Drift Toward Authoritarianism

Brookings President John Allen on why autocrats are rising and what to do about it.

Waad al-Kateab and Sama

The Syrian Filmmaker Who Risked Her Life to Document the Atrocities in Aleppo

Waad al-Kateab’s film focuses on one of the hardest-hit cities in Syria’s ongoing conflict.

Workers construct a road in Goma, the main city in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

How to Boost the Economies of Africa

Brookings scholar Landry Signé on why the continent underperforms when it comes to trade and what can be done about it.

Ram Masarweh as Mohammed Abu Khdeir in HBO’s “Our Boys.”

The Jerusalem Murder That Set Off a War

An Israeli drama series on HBO about the 2014 murder of a Palestinian teen stirs compassion and controversy.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is surrounded by soldiers of the Korean People's Army as he inspects the test launch of a ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in a photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on 
Feb. 13, 2017.

How to Manage North Korea

Brookings senior fellow Jung H. Pak on why the United States has failed to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and what to do about it.