Thames tunnel walk

How the Thames Tunnel Revealed London’s Class Divide

The Thames Tunnel, the world's first underwater tunnel, is still in use 175 years after its long-delayed opening, but you can't shop there anymore.
Alexander The Great mosaic

The Other Alexander the Great

Stories emerged in the centuries after Alexander the Great’s death. They revolved around Alexander's failures, not his victories. The portrait that emerges is strangely poignant.
Serfdom in Russia

How American Slavery Echoed Russian Serfdom

Russian serfdom and American slavery ended within two years of each other; the defenders of these systems of bondage surprisingly shared many of the same arguments.
Victorian-era lacemakers

How the Victorians Politicized Lace

The Victorian era involved a lot of lace. In the face of encroaching industrialism, handmade lace enjoyed a frilly revival—and masked fears about the commodification of female labor.
North Vietnamese soldiers

The Tet Offensive: What Were They Thinking?

The Tet Offensive of January 1968 has been much studied from the American perspective, but what did the North Vietnamese think about it?
Chateaubriand portrait

The Writer Who Told 19th Century Europe What To Think of America

The French writer Chateaubriand made up or copied a great deal of what he wrote about the early United States. What he said had tremendous influence.
Warsaw Ghetto

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and Jewish Identity

How do identity politics work in extremis? The resistance in the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising had to both suppress and amplify their Jewishness.
English tea time

The Extremely Un-British Origins of Tea

Tea is bound up in the nation's history of colonial expansion. British tea drinkers preferred Chinese tea at first, and had to be convinced on patriotic grounds to drink tea from India.
Hogarth crime

The First Moral Panic: London, 1744

The late summer crime wave of 1744 London sparked an intense moral panic about crime that burnt itself out by the new year. But not before heads rolled.
Samurai battle on old vintage Japanese screen

Whatever Happened to the Samurai?

Warriors rarely give up their power, but the samurai of Japan dwindled away rapidly after the Meiji Restoration and the modernization of the country.