History

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.

George Bush speaks with Brent Scowcroft and James Baker at the White House on May, 19 1992 (J. David Ake/AFP/Getty Images)

Once Upon a Time, U.S. Foreign Policy Worked

George H.W. Bush's administration was evidence of what the establishment was capable of.

The Statue Of Unity, the world's tallest statue dedicated to Indian independence leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, stands overlooking the Sardar Sarovar Dam in India's Gujarat state on Oct. 30. (Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images)

Let Them Eat Statues

Narendra Modi is building multimillion-dollar monuments while India's poorest citizens die of hunger and preventable diseases.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Jens Spahn, and Friedrich Merz at a regional German Christian Democratic Union gathering in Halle, Germany, on Nov. 22. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

It’s Time to Give Up on Eastern Germany

As the post-Merkel era looms, Germany’s center-right party needs to ditch its eastern base and go back to its western roots.

A painting of the World War I Battle of Jutland shows the sinking hit of the British battlecruiser HMS Indefatigable shortly before its explosion on May 31, 1916. (Willy Stöwer/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

The U.S. Navy Has Forgotten What It’s Like to Fight

The U.K.'s defeat at Jutland is a reminder of how a victorious force can get lazy.

A French propaganda poster during World War I. (AFP/Getty Images)

Never Forget That World War I Was Also Racist

It wasn’t just nationalism that fueled the 20th century’s first great tragedy.

French War Minister Andre Maginot, Marshal Joseph Joffre, and Marshal Philippe Petain at the inauguration of Joffre's monument in Chantilly, France on June 21, 1930. (AFP/Getty Images)

Macron Finds the Immoral Way to Remember World War I

There’s no good reason to pull Marshal Philippe Pétain from the dustbin of history.

Ethnic Uigur women look through a security fence as Chinese soldiers stand guard in Urumqi, in China's far west Xinjiang region, on July 9, 2009. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

For Them, Afghanistan Is Safer Than China

Persecution in Xinjiang is pushing Uighurs over the border.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, right, speaks at a press conference following a cabinet meeting on the country's draft budget on Oct. 15. (Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)

‘This Is an Existential Test of the Eurozone’

Economic historian Adam Tooze assesses the Italian crisis—and the prospects for a global collapse.

People carry German flags and a banner which reads "Stop Islamization" during a march organized by the far-right AfD party in Rostock,  Germany on September 22, 2018.

Germany’s New Politics of Cultural Despair

Will the return of the European far-right be the undoing of the West?

Enric Marco stands beside a Spanish Republican flag at Mauthausen, a concentration camp in Austria, in May 2003. (Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images)

The Spanish Fraud

On the podcast: Javier Cercas’s new book on the man who impersonated a Holocaust survivor.

This Davy Crockett will be displayed in the National Museum of the United States Army, under construction at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. (U.S. Army photo)

Point and Nuke

Remembering the era of portable atomic bombs.

The “Founding Fathers” exhibit at the House of European History highlights key architects of European integration. (Dominique Hommel/European Union 2018 – EP)

Night at the Museum

Brussels’s new European history museum could put anyone to sleep.

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