History

The RTV 31 hovercraft train in Peterborough, England, on Jan. 25.

A Train to Nowhere

Hovertrains were meant to revolutionize British transport. But they never arrived.

An American propaganda poster from World War II.

The Coronavirus War Economy Will Change the World

When societies shift their economies to a war footing, it doesn’t just help them survive a crisis—it alters them forever.

A passenger wearing a face mask as a protective measure looks at two police officers  at the Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport in Barajas on March 20, 2020.

How Governments Got Their Quarantine Powers

If you're locked inside, thank the British Empire for the laws that make it possible.

The multimedia artist Gabi von Seltmann's "Reconstruction" projects an image of the Great Synagogue of Warsaw, destroyed by the city's Nazi occupiers in 1943, onto the facade of the office tower that currently occupies the site. Scheduled to appear next in April, the work also features the single Hebrew word ליבע: “love.”

Poland Is Becoming a Global Capital of Chutzpah

As the government cracks down on Holocaust remembrance, the country’s Jewish art scene is thriving like never before.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath laying ceremony on the 75th anniversary of the Leningrad siege near St. Petersburg on Jan. 18.

Vladimir Putin Wants to Rewrite the History of World War II

The Russian president’s amateur history lessons are outraging neighboring countries. While he is right to criticize a recent EU Parliament resolution, his historical revisionism doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

Then-Omani leader Sultan Qaboos and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani review the honor guard during a welcome ceremony in Muscat, Oman, on March 12, 2014.

Why Oman Loves Iran

The special relationship between the two countries traces back to a personal debt incurred by Sultan Qaboos.

A Turkish bombardment on Syria's northeastern town of Ras al-Ain.

Is the World Getting Safer?

New research debunks the theory that wars are becoming less deadly and less frequent.

The BT-9 guard tower, part of the 
Berlin Wall exhibit at the Newseum in Washington before its closure in December.

Why the Berlin Wall Still Matters

Fragments of the wall have become museum pieces. But with the rise of extremist parties in Germany, the debate over the barrier’s legacy is anything but history.

Foreign Policy illustration/Getty Images and AP photos

The Kaiser’s Family Wants Its Stuff Back. Germany Isn’t Sure They Deserve It.

The former royal family lost countless artworks, palaces, and wealth in the 20th century. But were they victims—or enablers of the Nazis?

Iranian monarchists on Aug. 27, 1953, after staging a successful coup.

The United States Overthrew Iran’s Last Democratic Leader

Despite a campaign of historical revisionism in Washington, the archival record makes clear that the U.S. government was the key actor in the 1953 coup that ousted Mohammad Mosaddeq—not the Iranian clergy.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with his Lithuanian counterpart, Saulius Skvernelis.

Lithuania Is Forming a New Relationship With Its Past—and With Israel

As political ties flourish, the country is taking tenuous steps to confront its Holocaust history. But it hasn’t gone far enough.

A protester with a sticker on his head reading "Vox Now" in reference to the Spanish far-right party Vox takes part in a demonstration in Madrid on Feb. 10.

Digging Up a Dictator Won’t End Spain’s Divisions

The Spanish government just moved a step closer to disinterring the remains of Francisco Franco. But as the country heads for yet another election, a new book shows that voters have other priorities.

vela-incident-nuclear-test-1979-illustration

Blast From the Past

Forty years ago, a U.S. satellite detected the telltale signs of a nuclear explosion. An analysis of the evidence today points to a clandestine nuclear test, a Carter administration cover-up, and only one country that was willing and able to carry it out: Israel.

A man holds a picture with Macedonian national hero Goce Delcev in front of the parliament building in Skopje on June 23, 2018 during a protest against the new name of the country, the Republic of North Macedonia.

Refighting the Balkan Wars Won’t Lead to a Seat at the Table in Brussels

Historical feuds still threaten to stop Eastern European countries from joining the EU.

An election campaign poster from the far-right Alernative fuer Deutschland (AfD) reads: "We are the people!" in Zehdenick in the federal state of Brandenburg, eastern Germany, on August 28, 2019, ahead of state elections.

Germany’s Far-Right Freedom Fighters

Eastern Germans increasingly claim to have freed themselves from communists, only to have been taken over by another dictatorship: western Germany.

A wine vessel attributed to the Niobid Painter of Athens.

Pandora’s Vox

Thousands of years ago, the ancient Greeks anticipated robots and artificial intelligence—and they didn’t trust them.

books-lead_Summer-2019

Books in Brief

Reviews of the latest releases on mosquitoes, the Islamic State, and Kim Jong Un.

A woman holds a portrait of a former South Korean “comfort woman,” one of those who were forced by Japan’s military into sexual slavery during World War II, at a rally to mark National Liberation Day in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Aug. 15, 2018.

The United States Needs Japan-South Korea Reconciliation

This weekend's G-20 efforts are likely to flop as old quarrels emerge.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao speaks at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Niguel, California, on Oct. 2, 2018.

Elaine Chao Learned From the Best

The transportation secretary is part of a long line of individuals who’ve bridged China and the United States—and done well for themselves in the process.

U.S. troops land in Normandy, France, on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

The Lessons of 1944 Are in Jeopardy

Seventy-five years after D-Day, the United States should remember that on-the-ground leadership still works.