An abbey cellarer testing his wine. Illumination from a copy of Li livres dou santé by Aldobrandino of Siena, late 13th century

When Monks Went Undercover to Steal Relics

Because relics were understood to be capable of working miracles, any relic that was stolen must have wanted to be.
Peasants Before Their House by Louis Le Nain

Quiet Struggle Means Resistance without Protest

A lone resister is easy to take down, but there is safety in numbers, in conspiracies of silence, in refusals to testify against one's neighbors.
Joseph Rock

Meet the Man Behind the Peony

In China, gramophone and camera in tow, botanist and explorer Joseph Rock collected seeds from the tree peony that bears his name.
Fifty Shades affective labor

Fifty Shades of Affective Labor for Capital

Fifty Shades of Grey sells an absurd fantasy version of a romantic relationship—as between man and woman, so between capitalism and female workers.
Karl Marx

How the American Civil War Shaped Marxism

Although Karl Marx never saw the U.S., he thought long and hard about how it fit into his theory, especially during the Civil War.
Hastings Muskogee Hatchery 1911

When Refrigeration Was Controversial

What the ordinary egg has to do with your refrigerator.
Chief of Staff Lutze visits the new Italian settlements in Libya. The Chief of Staff and His Excellency Russo inspect ranks of Askaris (native soldiers) in Nalut.

Libya’s Italian Connection

The intimate historical connection between Italy and Libya.