History

books-lead_Summer-2019

Books in Brief

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

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.

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.

Crimean Tatars light candles during a memorial ceremony in Kiev on May 18, 2016, in commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the deportation of the indigenous population of Crimea by the Soviet Union.

Who Will Speak for the Tatars?

When Russia seized Crimea in 2014, a crackdown on the Muslim minority ensued.

A man walks up the steps in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 20, 2018.

The United States’ Problems Aren’t What You Think They Are

America’s decline resembles nothing so much as the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Presidential candidates should take note.

Attendees hold rainbow flags during a march to honor LGBT rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker in New York City on June 14, 2017.

Congress Wants State Department to Reckon With the ‘Lavender Scare’

Gay employees were hounded from office in a dark episode of State Department history from the 1950s and ’60s, and many committed suicide.

The Fialka encryption system, part of the collection at the KGB Espionage Museum in New York City.

The Soviets’ Unbreakable Code

The hidden history of the Fialka espionage machine.

The spire of Notre Dame collapses as the cathedral is engulfed in flames in Paris on April 15. (Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images)

‘This Restoration Will Take at Least a Decade’

Despite being spared the worst, Notre Dame is not out of danger, says the building expert Caroline Bruzelius.

Carl Muscarello and Edith Shain, who claim to be the nurse and sailor in the famous photograph taken on V-J Day, kiss next to a sculpture based on the photograph in Times Square to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II on Aug. 14, 2005 in New York City. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Nostalgia Is a National Security Threat

By idealizing the past, Americans have made themselves unsafe in the present.

A protestor aims a gun at an effigy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Quetta, Pakistan on March 1. (Bananas Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

Our Best Weekend Reads

This week, India and Pakistan faced off in Kashmir, and Trump left Hanoi empty-handed.

Konstantin Khabensky in Trotsky. (Sreda Production Company

‘Trotsky’ Is an Icepick to the Heart of Soviet History

The Russian-produced Netflix series is selling worrying myths to the public.

Supporters of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) attend a ceremony marking the seventh anniversary of the presidential plane crash in Smolensk, Russia in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw, on April 10, 2017. Then-Polish President Lech Kaczynski the twin brother of PiS's figurehead, Jaroslaw Kaczynski—was among those who died in the crash on April 10, 2010.

Poland’s Historical Revisionism Is Pushing It Into Moscow’s Arms

The country doesn’t need an openly pro-Russian political party. Its own government’s attempts to rewrite Polish history play directly into Vladimir Putin’s hands.

French President Emmanuel Macron looks at a portrait of former French President Charles de Gaulle at the city hall in Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, France, on Oct. 4, 2018. (Vincent Kessler/AFP/Getty Images)

Macron Is Going Full De Gaulle

France’s president is pushing around Britain, Germany, and Italy—and going back to his country’s foreign-policy roots.

Adolf Hitler riding in a car with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in Munich in Sept. 1937. (AFP/Getty Images)

Hitler Loved Speed Limits

Germany’s unregulated highways might be the most irrational aspect of its modern identity—but you can’t blame it on the Führer.

A boy wearing the costume of a Qing emperor prepares to pose for photographs at a park near the Forbidden City in Beijing on Jan. 1. (Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images)

Xi’s China Is Steamrolling Its Own History

The Chinese Communist Party sees the past as a resource to be plundered by the present.

The Shanghai News ran from 1950 to 1952. (Jason Hornick for Foreign Policy)

Last Tango in Shanghai

How the ads in a crumbling newspaper offer glimpses of a vanished world.

A woman looks for items to salvage amid the wreckage of a street in Yarmouk, in Damascus, Syria, on Oct. 9. (Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images)

‘We Can’t Save Syrians Anymore, But We Can Save the Truth’

An ambitious oral history project will determine how the war in Syria is remembered.

George Bush laughs with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev on Sept. 9, 1990 after their first meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland. (Mike Sargent/AFP/Getty Images)

Five Vital Lessons From George H.W. Bush

From being wary about the Middle East to protecting America’s intelligence services, the former president was far more prescient than he’s often given credit for.

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