Samuel Beckett

Samuel Beckett and the Theatre of Resistance

The dark, absurdist humor of Samuel Beckett's work was directly informed by his time in the French Resistance during World War II.
Painting by Jozef Czapski

Painter, Proust Scholar, P.O.W.

Józef Czapski was a painter, writer, and Proust scholar -- as well as one of the few Polish military officers not executed by the Soviet Union in 1940.
U.S. World War II anti-venereal disease poster

When America Incarcerated “Promiscuous” Women

From WWI to the 1950s, the "American Plan" rounded up sexually-active women and quarantined them, supposedly to protect soldiers from venereal disease.
Tube London Blitz

What Life Was Like During the London Blitz

During WWII, 150,000+ people sought shelter in London's Tube stations each night. Over time, the various stations developed their own mini-governments.
Special Operations Executives (SOE) Agents During WWII

Clothing Britain’s Spies during World War II

To hide in plain sight while on assignment in foreign nations, agents needed precisely tailored clothes made to look local.
refrigerator

The Complicated Politics of… Refrigerators

When American kitchens started getting high-tech in the 1950s, the refrigerator seemed to alienate and frustrate many men.
Iris Origo La Foce

Iris Origo’s Italian War Diary

The marchese's 1939-1940 diary, detailing the months before Italy's armed alliance with Nazi Germany, is now available as A Chill in the Air.
Anne Frank

Saint Anne Frank

Pop culture has made Anne Frank into an icon, but one scholar notes that she was a terrified child trapped and killed by war, and should be seen as such.
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.
Casablanca poster

Casablanca at 75

On the 75th anniversary of the premier of Casablanca, let's revisit the art and politics of this venerable American classic.