A silhouette of a spy overlaying a communist flag

Lai Teck, International Man of Mystery

A Vietnamese double agent who infiltrated and led the Communist Party of Malaya in the 1930s, Lai Teck also spied for the British and the Japanese.
A bag of freshly picked potatoes in the field.

Potato Power!

How the potato changed the course of world history…twice.

Buddhist Pacifists at War

In the early centuries of Vajrayāna Buddhism in India, practitioners worked to reconcile the religion’s teaching of nonviolence with the realities of warfare.
Visitors take photos of the National Stadium, dubbed the Bird's Nest on April 16, 2008 in Beijing, China.

Building the Olympic Games

A close connection between architecture, athletics, and the urban fabric is central to the idea of the modern Olympic Games.
A scoreboard bearing a quote by founder of the modern olympics Pierre de Coubertin, at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games Wembley Stadium, London, 29th July 1948. The quotation reads: 'The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part. The essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well'. Original Publication: Picture Post - 4582 - Olympic Games - pub. 14th August 1948 (Photo by Haywood Magee/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The French Historian Who Invented the Olympics

Pierre de Coubertin harnessed an enduring fascination with ancient Greece to create a new institution that blended national pride with global unity.
Lajpat Rai and W.E.B. Du Bois

Black Freedom and Indian Independence

Activists including W. E .B. Du Bois in the United States and Lajpat Rai in India drew connections between Black American and Indian experiences of white rule.
From Life of Theobald Wolfe Tone, which Matilda Tone edited and published, though credit was attributed to her son

Matilda Tone, Historian of Irish Republicanism

Through the work and writing of Matilda Tone, her late husband, Theobold Wolfe Tone, was constructed as the hero of Irish republicanism.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Matrimandir_Auroville_Pondicherry.jpg

A Utopia—for Some—in India

In 1968, an international group led by an Indian freedom fighter and a French spiritualist formed a utopian—and problematic—community called Auroville.
Tongan beach with small wooden jetty and thatched huts

Wooden Kings and Winds of Change in Tonga

The island nation of Tonga is home to the last Polynesian monarchy.
Source: https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.24887166

Women in the Vijayanagar Empire

According to legend, a woman played a central role in the founding of the Vijayanagar empire. But what was it really like to be a woman in India’s medieval era?