News reporters mingle with members of the International Brigade, amongst them is Ernest Hemingway (with mustache and glasses), during the Spanish Civil War, c. 1937.

The International Brigades

Foreigners fighting for Ukraine may call to mind the International Brigades that fought in defense of the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War.
Women digging near damaged train tracks during the Battle of Stalingrad, USSR, during World War II.

Counting War’s Civilian Dead

Despite claims of precision strikes and the proliferation of smart bombs, the number of civilians killed in war appears staggeringly high.
Photograph: A mother arrives with her children in Poland from war-torn Ukraine at the Medyka border crossing on March 15, 2022 in Medyka, Poland.

Source: Sean Gallup/Getty

Mothers and War

Seeing images of mothers in wartime Ukraine sent editor Morgan Godvin down a research rabbit hole.
A British soldier training in 1941

The Bayonet: What’s the Point?

According to one scholar, the military sees training in this obsolete weapon as helpful on the modern battlefield.
U.S.S. Pueblo, 1968

Can Thucydides Teach Us Why We Go to War?

A contemporary scholar uses the ancient Greek historian to explain the 1968 Pueblo Crisis in North Korea.
Harry Truman circa 1935

How Harry Truman Rose to Fame Curbing War Profiteers

Right when the U.S. needed supplies for World War II, military contractors started overcharging. An obscure senator from Missouri challenged them.
President Barack Obama speaks as former President Bill Clinton (L) and former President George W. Bush (R) listen in the Rose Garden of the White House January 16, 2010. President Obama and the former Presidents Bush and Clinton spoke about the efforts to coordinate American Charitable aid to the earthquake victims in Haiti.

Bipartisan Forever Wars

A critical analysis of both political parties is necessary to understand how the US has created its informal empire—and to envision a different future.
A yellow ribbon on a red background

The Many Meanings of Yellow Ribbons

The strange and convoluted history of why yellow ribbons became a symbol of the Gulf War in the 1990s.
The war elephants of Phyrrus at the battle of Asculum, 279 B.C.

How “Pyrrhic Victory” Became a Go-To Metaphor

We call futile victories "pyrrhic," after an ancient Roman battle. But that battle may have been misinterpreted--or had a different conclusion altogether.
"The Macaroni. A real Character at the late Masquerade", mezzotint by Philip Dawe, 1773

The Gender-Bending Style of Yankee Doodle’s Macaroni

The outlandish "macaroni" style of 18th-century England blurred the boundaries of gender, as well as class and nationality.