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“We are
Did the Cold War living in an
age of anger”
ever really The roots of our
21st-century rage

end? Fidel Castro’s
The naval battle
that shaped

predict its future
Are our ideas about
ancient Egypt wrong?
TRUMP Why his win
must change our take on history
How 1917 shaped a century
“They didn’t expect me to survive”
Eyewitness to the WW2 D-Day landings ISSUE 2 FEB/MAR 2017

Revolutionary road
A 1930 Russian textile featuring a
tractor design. This issue, we explore
the global impact of Russia’s tumultuous
20th-century history, from its 1917
revolutions to the reverberations of the
Cold War – which, arguably, continue today


A number of commentators
have suggested that 2016
was somehow uniquely fated
to be terrible – and that, at its US and Europe, author Pankaj Mishra notes that
end, things might revert to “what we are witnessing today is the turbulence and
turmoil we used to locate in Iran or India erupting
their ‘normal’, calmer state. in the heart of the modern west”. You can read more
Putting aside the fact that such a view is to some extent of his thoughts about why we may be living in the
a uniquely western one – there are, of course, parts ‘age of anger’ in his conversation with Tom Holland
of the world in which much more severe crises are on page 82.
depressingly routine – a more likely interpretation is This issue brings you even more commentary from
that the phenomena identified as negative in 2016 leading historians and experts with a newly expanded
(political shocks, social divisions, economic turbu- opinion section tackling hot topical issues. How
lence) are set to continue for some time to come. should we now regard Fidel Castro, following his
As we explore in this issue, they may in any case death late last year? What are the historical precedents
be part of a much longer-lasting trend. In The Big for the recent upsurge in US citizens heading north to
Question, starting on page 40, seven experts assess Canada? You can find answers to those and other
whether the Cold War ever really ended. Though pressing questions from page 18.
some believe that it concluded with the collapse of There’s much more to discover besides, with another
the Soviet Union in 1991, might it be more true that thought-provoking journey across centuries and
the tensions and rivalries it produced never really went continents – from the treachery that cost the crusad-
away? Looking even further back, we consider the ways ers Jerusalem to New York during the blackouts of
in which the 1917 Russian Revolutions (page 30) 1977, and from our potentially erroneous beliefs about
affected the global political climate for many decades. ancient Egypt to a new look at Korea’s art history.
Continuity and change, then, is something of I’d love to know what you think, too, about
a theme for this issue. Returning to the idea that the both the magazine and the wider world of history:
kind of upheaval seen in 2016 was new to some in the please email your comments to me and the team at For now, enjoy this
issue, and look out for issue three on 29 March.
Matt Elton
Editor, BBC World Histories



Available from . We feature leading historians writing lively and thought-provoking new takes on the great events of the past.Save when you subscribe to the digital edition of BBC History Magazine BBC History Magazine is Britain’s bestselling history magazine.

CONTENTS Features ISSUE 2 An anti-fascist poster from the 24 56 Soviet Union. 1929. whose A panel of experts debates the real story treachery cost the kingdom of Jerusalem Æ of Russia’s relationship with the west 5 . deserter. This issue. a leading expert argues they still influence politics today 30 Russia’s Revolutions 68 BY ROBERT SERVICE Glittering Korea On the centenary of Russia’s upheavals BY SOYOUNG LEE in 1917. we Lenin’s lust for power The truth about explore Russia’s BY VICTOR SEBESTYEN ancient Egypt relations with the rest of the world The man behind the communist myth. and BY JOHN ROMER throughout the 20th how his legacy shaped the world for decades Our view of the land of the pharaohs may century – and how be based on fiction. we explore their global impact Highlights from an exhibition exploring the peninsula’s diverse cultural history 40 THE BIG QUESTION 74 Did the Cold War Crusader. traitor GETTY IMAGES BY JEFFREY LEE ever really end? The life of Raymond III of Tripoli.

Margaret Conrad. films and TV 36 © CROWN COPYRIGHT. Angkor by Paul Bloomfield ISSUE 2 COVER ILLUSTRATION 100 Next issue preview and pre-order BY DAVIDE BONAZZI 6 . conciliation. James Flynn and Peter Frankopan 18 CULTURE 82 In Conversation: Pankaj Mishra talks Pre-order to Tom Holland about Mishra’s book on the next issue of World the roots of our 21st-century rage Histories 90 Book reviews: New releases rated 101 96 Agenda: Exhibitions. soccer and space by Richard Overy This issue 60 Perspectives: The battle of Lepanto we’ve been 18 in 1571 by Jerry Brotton asking … 66 Extraordinary People: Ruth Williams Khama by Susan Williams How should history remember Fidel Castro? 18 114 Column: Global Connections Why did the Russian Revolutions “impact by Michael Scott on global politics for decades”? 30 THE BRIEFING What was it like in Normandy during the Allied invasion in the Second World War? 36 8 Back Story: What can the past tell us about Syria’s future? by Chris Bowlby How did builders move the blocks used to construct Egypt’s pyramids? 56 14 History Headlines: Global discoveries What can we learn about Korea’s diverse and developments in the world of history history from its artefacts? 68 16 Inside Story: Why Donald Trump’s Why was Cape Town known historically win should change our take on history as the ‘Tavern of the Seas’? 108 by Adam IP Smith 18 Viewpoints: Expert opinions on the historical issues behind today’s news by Tanya Harmer. 1944 by David Render 46 A Year in Pictures: 1977 – Conflict.CONTENTS Regulars REGULARS 36 Eyewitness: Normandy landings. IWM/KATE HAZELL NEW FROM THE MAKERS OF BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE WorldHistories FRESH PERSPECTIVES ON OUR GLOBAL PAST JOURNEYS Did the Cold War ever really “We are living in an age of anger” The roots of our 21st-century rage 102 In the footsteps of… The 1903/4 British end? CLASH OF EMPIRES Fidel Castro’s divisive legacy invasion of Tibet by Robert Twigger The naval battle that shaped 16th-century 108 Global City: Cape Town by Tom Hall Europe SYRIA Historians predict its future EXPLODING THE PHARAOH MYTH 110 Wonders of the World: Cambodia’s Are our ideas about ancient Egypt wrong? RUSSIA’S TRUMP Why his win must change our take on history REVOLUTIONS How 1917 shaped a century “They didn’t expect me to survive” Eyewitness to the WW2 D-Day landings epic empire.

Fairfax Street. “The Anglo-American assault on the Post BBC World Histories. Tanya Harmer Associate professor in international history at the London School of Economics. “In the past year or so. “The idea that pharaohs were worshipped as all-powerful gods. CONTRIBUTORS Expert voices from the world of history 30 Victor Sebestyen 36 Born in Budapest. debating Facebook facebook. Bristol BS1 3BN. Jerry Brotton This issue the author of This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic Question feature starting on page 40.” he says. Much of his work has explored 68 eastern Europe’s tumultuous history. feature writer Sebestyen was still a child when his family left the country as refugees. a lot of familiar oppositions – liberalism versus fundamentalism. Mishra explores the origins of trends that look set to dominate the news in 2017. is just silly talk. Pankaj Mishra 56 In a wide-ranging conversation with fellow author Tom Holland. Romer believes that our view of the ancient history of that land is shrouded in myth and misconception. UK bipolar division of the world that ensued. Tower House. starting on page 82. had a Phone +44 117 314 7377 profound and lasting global impact. As he writes on page whether the Cold War ever really reached a Email worldhistories@historyextra. turns his attention to another meeting of civilisations: the 1571 battle of Lepanto. John Romer A leader of major archaeological expeditions 108 to Adi is one of seven expert contributors to our Big Twitter twitter. it was a conflict that caused a major shift in the balance of power. for instance.” he argues. Islam versus modernity – have been destroyed. as well as the Bristol Limited. 7 . CONTACT US Hakim Adi Website historyextra. Immediate Media Company Soviet Union and conclusion.” she writes. Harmer offers her take on the contentious legacy of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on page 18. which pitted Christian Europe against the Ottoman 68 empire. Read more of Romer’s thoughts in our interview on page 56. “Castro’s critiques of neoliberalism continue 108 to resonate globally in the aftermath of the GETTY IMAGES/AWL IMAGES/METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART /REX/ELIZABETH ROMER/ UNIVERSITY OF CHICHESTER/HELEN ATKINSON 2008 financial crash.” he suggests. and on 56 page 24 he assesses how the personality and actions of one man – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin – shaped the course of world history.

The Briefing The history behind today’s news 8 .

Syria has been wracked by war between government forces. BACK STORY What does the future hold for Syria? Since the popular protests of 2011 led to an armed uprising.5 million Syrians have been internally displaced since the conflict began REUTERS Æ 9 . rebel fighters and the so-called Islamic State. who share their opinions on the causes and possible outcomes of the conflict Innocent victims Civilians evacuated from an Islamic State- controlled district near Aleppo by fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces in August 2016. Chris Bowlby talks to historians Eugene Rogan and James Gelvin. An estimated 6.

hostile to popular forms of Islam such as Sufism and the various Shi’ite denominations. led by an Alawite minority. Revolution in Iran in 1979. and was toppling long-standing autocrats. and the Qataris and the west unpopularity of Iraq’s prime minister. It is a Sunni vision of an austere. among the Sunni 10 . aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood. Iran supports the Assad the United Kingdom. The most recent model of Islamic Lebanon through the Shi’ite Hezbollah moderate Islamist opposition groups politics emerged from the Islamic movement. of a new kind of challenge to uneasily for much of the following What makes the Syrian conflict so established orders? decades until the American-led invasion complex and difficult to resolve is that James Gelvin: In 2014 IS seemed of Iraq in 2003 followed by the Arab the country sits at the fault lines between unstoppable. is the crisis actually the continuation of an ongoing deep- rooted conflict between different strands of Islam? Eugene Rogan: The Syrian conflict stems from the convergence of three rival and incompatible models of political Islam. – none more violent than the conflict cy mark the permanent emergence These three strands coexisted in Syria. But its early Shi’ites swept to power and Iran was regime to preserve its influence. each with deep historic roots. The Muslim Brotherhood represents Rebel fighters pose with their weapons the second fusion of Islam and politics. the majority Islamic politics. left rapidly perceived by its Sunni Arab power vacuums and sparked civil wars Does the Islamic State (IS) insurgen- neighbours as a Shi’ite threat. which dates back to the 18th century and is the ideological basis of the modern Saudi state. It carved out a ‘caliphate’ Spring in 2011. in Aleppo in December 2016. where the government is forces. and into support what they believe to be Nouri al-Maliki. Then the Arab Spring. iconoclastic Islam. With the fall of these rival and incompatible visions of from Syria and Iraq roughly the size of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.THE BRIEFING Back Story: Syria “What makes the Syrian conflict so complex and difficult to resolve is that the country sits at the fault lines between rival and incompatible visions of Islamic politics” Though the current fighting in Syria was sparked by the uprisings of the Arab Spring. More than five years after the start of the conflict. the battlefield success was largely a result of able to extend its influence through Saudis intervene on the side of Sunni the collapse of the Iraqi army and the REUTERS Iraq to Syria. emerging in Egypt in the 1920s as government troops continue to battle both a conservative reaction to western rebel forces and Islamic State insurgents challenges to Islamic values under British rule. The oldest is the Saudi Wahhabi alliance.

It is only a again in 1945. in anti-imperial in brief IS lost Tikrit. IS Will the US under President Trump held power since 2000 fighters may just give up. Is this war a challenge not just to the Assad regime but to the Syrian state itself? ER: This conflict is more dangerous than any the country has faced in the past. proclaimed a ‘caliphate’. or move on to take a new approach to Syria? other criminal enterprises. It is continue their attacks globally. between the regime of Hafez al-Assad GETTY IMAGES/MAP: PAUL HEWITT–BATTLEFILED DESIGN. having taken the long term. or both – but from doing to its enemies what they internally. if this scenario transpires Bashar al-Assad has IS will no longer be IS. as reported in December 2016 they are killed or give up on their high- risk and. The current civil up arms against the forces of President death throes. that doesn’t without generating a comparable level of government troops. the First World War. with or highly unlikely that he will advocate without organisational backing. futile behaviour. ignores the fact that IS branches outside their revenge. feared the worst State follows a fundamentalist Wahhabi branch of Sunni Islam. who majority of Syrians are Sunni.8 could simply set up shop elsewhere. al. since IS’s raison d’être is re-establishing feared the opposition might do to them.5 are on the verge of failing. until intervening. JG: It is difficult to predict exactly former fighters and freelancers could what Trump will do about Syria. Ramadi and Fallujah in revolts against the French in 1925 and Iraq and Kobanî in Syria. Jordan the caliphate have mostly either failed or international community. and in the conflict The civil war that has claimed the lives of matter of time before it loses Mosul. Second. IS number in the millions. Fourth. More than 4. During 2015 and Syrian towns were partially destroyed in 2016 the caliphate shrank dramatically. and rebel groups took necessarily mean that IS itself is in its hatred and polarisation. BASED ON IHS CONFLICT MONITOR (12 DEC 2016) between 250. scenario is that IS goes underground. now that and Turkey. [the current president’s father] and the began in 2011 after pro-democracy But even if the days of the IS Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s. al-Assad knows it is in a battle for surviv- The president represents the Alawite sect only to re-emerge in the future. total victory. There are five possible war has given rise to deeper and more Bashar al-Assad. Jihadist militants from the so-called Islamic State joined the scenarios for what might happen to IS in dangerous divisions than ever before. Syria’s President a caliphate. not just for the state but for all Syrians closely linked to Shia Islam. Finally. this as brutalised opposition militias took million people have fled the country. some 6. while the this ignores the unique circumstances associated with it. will be to prevent the state displaced gency in Syria or Iraq. This map shows areas of Syria controlled by various factions. Islamic that nourished IS in the past. The challenge facing the largely to Lebanon. protests were violently suppressed by ‘caliphate’ are numbered.000 and 470. from Western diplomats have failed to control of areas of eastern Syria and least likely to most likely. I’ll list them here. Those Syrians.000 Syrians Iraq’s third-largest city. however. The first recognise that the regime of Bashar north-west Iraq. either militarily or Æ 11 . The Syrian conflict population of Iraq. fighting and in June 2014. IS government forces look poised to win a million have been fighters could continue to wage an insur. Third. ultimately.

who wanted to reduce the US’s footprint in the region so that it might focus its attention on the far east and Pacific rim where. for two reasons. reduce the number of refugees. British troops observe smoke the bloodiest phase of the civil war billowing from burning oil wells in might well be over. a legal fiction. His stated reluctance to become involved in adventures in the Middle East makes him the polar opposite of Hillary Clinton (a liberal interventionist) – but.THE BRIEFING Back Story: Syria “A case can be made that victory for Syria’s government would be in America’s and Europe’s interest” diplomatically. Obama believed. diminish the killing and put a halt to the braying of liberal interventionists and neo-cons Tear gas is released among anti- alike who want the US to do something government demonstrators in Cairo rash. The second reason that Trump is unlikely to get involved is that his instinct leans toward isolationism. 12 . It will also disappear from the headlines. low-intensity conflict led invasion of 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein’s government pitting the Syrian government against a variety of opposition groups. Trump’s admiration for Vladimir Putin makes it likely that he will abdicate Syria policy to Russia. It will likely devolve southern Iraq after the American- into a protracted. of course. IS remnants and Kurdish militias. It would also keep Syria intact – during the Arab Spring in January 2011. a kindred spirit with Barack Obama. a case can be made that victory for Syria’s government would be in America’s and Europe’s interest since it would enable all parties to the conflict to focus on the fight against IS. First. as well as from the list of priorities of American policy makers. Indeed. ironically enough. the history of the 21st century will be written. but one that Assad’s response to similar protests would prevent a break-up of the country in Syria led to the current conflict that would destabilise the region.

and in preserving the government’s recent gains (made with Bashar al-Assad in power. DISCOVER MORE reflecting their lack of clearly defined The situation in Syria remains volatile. but does not rule. perhaps. Even with five-year civil war. Chris Bowlby is a BBC journalist specialising The Russians had everything to lose in history. The Russian fleet has use of option is also unlikely. “Syria might become like Somalia. a negotiated settlement. bbc. the Europeans ( The west now seems resigned to the Assad regime’s victory. Keep abreast of the latest events by following BBC coverage of the conflict in Syria at get more deeply involved in Syria. according historical involvement in Syria informed those actions? ER: Only Iran and Russia have a clear idea of what their interests in Syria games for the Syrian civil war: a victory for the Syrian government or the opposition. James Gelvin. if the Assad regime fell. He was speaking to Eugene Rogan. might become like Somalia. suggests that Syria to a report by the Syrian Centre for Policy successfully to reinforce their interests. fluctuating interests and their unwillingness to frequently. coined by a are. but does not rule. with a government that reigns. or ‘Somalisation’. over all the territory within its borders” Russian president Vladimir Putin. by emailing worldhistories@historyextra. 2012). unwilling HAVE YOUR SAY to take on either Russia or Iran in Let us know about your views on this piece a renewed struggle for Syria. Since the collapse of the Soviet now that the momentum is on its side – Union. with a Research Both Iran and Russia have played government that reigns. Russia has lost every one of except. while the And because there is no incentive for the geopolitical stakes for Russia are also government to enter into negotiations high. because they professor of modern Middle Eastern history A woman is helped from a bus in Aleppo after being evacuated would have been turfed out by any at the University of Oxford and author of from a village under siege in successor government as supporters The Arabs: A History (Penguin. a decisive role in reinforcing the over all the territory within its interna- exhausted Syrian army during the tionally recognised borders. and how has their JG: There were always three possible end- 45 Per cent of Syria’s population has been displaced. Russian intelligence relies on electronic surveillance from its base in Latakia. Russia has supported the Assad regime. and north-west Syria. December 2016 of the hated Alawite state. 2015) and Americans have responded with uncertainty and This term. reinforcing Syria’s army and launching air strikes against rebels How have other countries reacted How might the conflict be ended? to the conflict. and have acted decisively and UN representative. and tion is the most likely endpoint. Russian assistance) the Syrian govern- Syria has been a loyal ally to Iran ment is unlikely to wipe out all resistance. to secure terms of the its former allies in the region except opposition’s surrender – the second Syria. Thus Somalisa- the Syrian naval base in 13 . since the early 1980s. professor of history at UCLA Compared with these clear-sighted and author of The Modern Middle East: A History GETTY IMAGES/REX FEATURES/REUTERS (if ruthless) positions.

.” said Professor Bob Stone. To mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage to the New World in 1620. Considered “in need of urgent safe- 4 GERMANY guarding” by Unesco. It appears that the two outer layers of the structure were each built on top of an earlier 5 MOYO AREA UGANDA iteration.. “We want to recreate every plank. Following months of protest. alternative routes are being considered. THE BRIEFING History Headlines 1NORTH DAKOTA UNITED STATES Pipes and protesters History Native American campaigners seeking to protect sacred historical sites have halted the construction of Headlines an oil pipeline spanning four states. working with colleagues in Plymouth. younger genera. The of the 2016 additions to Unesco’s Intangi- 30-metre-high outer structure was ble Cultural Heritage list. skin costume. Ma’di people around Moyo in Uganda. Devon and its US namesake in Massachusetts. involve materials vulnerable However. 2 BIRMINGHAM UNITED KINGDOM Virtual vessel A pioneering ocean crossing is set to receive a futuris- tic makeover. each dating from a different era of Mayan civilisation – Dance of time Cuban rumba dancing. so that people can put on a headset and feel like they are actually on board. the reprieve JAN 2017 may be short-lived – new US president Donald Trump has expressed his support for the pipeline project. virtual- reality experts at the University of Birmingham. but two. and some The use of such 85. traditional music 14 . Indian yoga. commentators point out that interest in the from animals animals is edition may have been unusually high because it is the and plants that one reason for first annotated version of the text to be published. which aims to completed between 1050 and 1300. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux say that the pipeline would des- ecrate ancestral burial grounds and other spiritual NOV 2016 locations. every pulley. within a pyramid Experts investigating the temple pyramid known as Kukulkan (or El Castillo) in the ancient Mayan complex of Chichen Itza in Mexico were astonished when they found that not just one pyramid is encased within the visible structure. have announced GETTY IMAGES/GEORGE RODGER–MAGNUM IMAGES plans to recreate the ship in augmented reality based 1 on original plans and laser scans of a replica vessel. sitting one inside the other like Belgian beer culture: these are just three Russian nesting dolls. 3YUCATÁN STATE MEXICO 3 A pyramid within a pyramid. however. topping Der Spiegel’s non-fiction chart. as endangered. every rope. Ma’di Hitler’s memoir tops German charts traditions are at risk Is Hitler’s autobiographical Mein Kampf really of being lost – they a bestseller? Since an annotated edition was are considered A Ma’di musician controversially published by the German not-for. porary History) in January 2016. it has sold some tions.000 copies. The Mayan temple of recognise and protect traditions across Kukulkan at Chichen Itza while the innermost and oldest the globe. and are now classed the decline of that its sales don’t merit declaring it a runaway hit. old-fashioned by wearing leopard- profit Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Institute for Contem. The updated list also includes encases two older pyramids pyramid is just 10 metres tall and the bowl lyre music and dance of the was built between 550 and 800.

which sank after hitting an iceberg in 1912. The British and Dutch warships. is set to cost 1 billion yuan (£118m/US$145m). 6 SICHUAN PROVINCE CHINA Titanic undertaking Forget rollercoasters: a theme park in China is planning a more unusual attraction – a full-size replica of RMS Titanic. The settlement – believed to be at least 5. Substantial social standing during this early era. sunk during the 1942 battle of the Java Sea.” said the burial sites here country’s antiquities ministry. Dutch and British authorities have condemned the actions. It is feared that they have been illegally salvaged for scrap metal. and plan to work with Indonesian authorities to investigate. and their high Egypt. one excavated city of Egypt’s oldest cities. “This proves the impor- near Abydos in tance of the people buried there. WORDS ELLIE CAWTHORNE 15 . 2 4 6 7 5 7 SOHAG PROVINCE EGYPT Grave expectations Tomb building was big business in 8 ancient Egypt. indicate the high status of the city’s EGYPTIAN MINISTRY OF ANTIQUITIES/ALAMY inhabitants 8 JAVA INDONESIA Mystery of the vanishing shipwrecks Several Second World War shipwrecks have disappeared from the seabed north of Java. 70 miles east of Chengdu and about 700 miles from the open sea.000 years old – is thought to have been home to tomb builders and high-ranking officials. are the final resting places of hundreds of sailors. The ambitious project to painstakingly recreate the doomed 269 metre-long ocean liner. finds at a rediscovered city suggest. Archaeologists uncovered graves A tomb at a newly bigger than royal burials at nearby Abydos. The replica will be permanently docked at the Romandisea resort.

Hence history.” At which said. has not abated. he CHRIS GLOAG DISCOVER MORE others think is moving back. and even though adjust their conceptions tinuity: there has never been anyone like never perfectly attained. broadcast been a straight line. upside down. the party of the American past. before adding. This did not feel like a tion of reality but as an end goal. glass-ceilinged room – is one correspond. though. the people who spreading and deepening its influence assure you that everything will carry on and augmenting the happiness and value as before are wrong.THE BRIEFING G Inside Story Inside Why we must Story learn to under- stand zig-zags Each issue The Hillary Clinton Obama’s conception of American his- celebration-that-wasn’t was tory – shared by the Clinton supporters our expert held in a convention centre in that vast.30am on BBC Radio 4 reassure a scared child: “And that’s OK. that Trump ‘couldn’t’ win reflected a Lincoln talked of the US as the “last. Adam IP Smith suggests normal campaign. even – that Hillary Clinton Lincoln – the first Republican president. Sometimes. people of life to all people. is in part the shock of historical discon. of all colours. but the destination is clear. on BBC Radio 4 in January we zag. with a glass ceiling: a hubristic case of characterised by the gradual absorption of the speech-writer’s tail wagging the more people into the universal ‘promise’ ents provide event-planner’s dog. “The path plishment now sadly tarnished. everywhere. It proceeds from insights into broke up in desolation. best expectations of continuity powerful urge not just to want continuity hope of Earth” but saw it as a work in – and that historians must but to expect it. Theirs is a familiar and. but Democrats hoped Theirs is the America of Abraham – assumed. He is also an author and presenter of that this country has taken has never Trump wants to make America great Trump: The Presidential Precedents. Hillary Clinton. “We zig and again. Even of democracy. the palpable sense about liberty and equality encoded in the of shock at the outcome of the election founding documents – not as a descrip- from the post-election US. Deeply From Our Own Correspondent is broadcast point he paused. the idea that there is a universal claim global issues. Reporting Many weeks later. hegemonic narrative oddly low-key victory speech. in historical before Donald Trump had given his one form or another. and the world turns the way. perhaps. was “not really American”.” There may be zig-zags on institutions collapse. and sometimes we move in ways this election was the last chance to “get that some people think is forward and our country back”. as if to immersed as Donald Trump is in every Saturday at 11.” he said. As one Trump supporter told me. Many of those who voted for Trump President Obama directly confronted appear to subscribe to a less teleological the challenge of discontinuity in his version of history: America not as a work Adam IP Smith is senior lecturer at University remarks on the White House lawn on the in progress but as a once-beautiful accom- College London. specialising in American morning after the election. that Trump’s victory should would win and that normality would but one as temperamentally different make us re-evaluate our resume. do not behave as you think they will. constantly laboured for. Sometimes. so there should not be one approximated and thereby constantly now. too. constantly of change him before.” conspiratorial thinking – not least about 16 . The widespread presumption from Trump as he was similar to Obama. The shock of Trump progress: an ideal “constantly looked to.

of old when an uber-cool African-American is entrenched hierarchies. conception of change. shake-up artist to be elected to the White most historical scholarship in the past few House and. that she was simply alien. In a post-structuralist things can only get commitment to the truth – a commodi- mode. like many of his predecessors decades has been written with a deep. War. we were constitutionally sceptical better in the end ty under sudden attack. TV star endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. 17 . Trump is hardly the first lifetimes. at root. more multi-dimensional in their assumption that GETTY IMAGES of the ‘end of history’ – Francis Fukuy. it was easy to was strongly correlated with the opinion take for granted the historically unusual that America is a worse place now than it pace of social change we have seen in our was in the past. Maybe historians need to be more True. a sense of direction.” says Adam IP Smith the birthplace of Obama – I don’t think of grand theories of historical change. of apartheid and. rather. “The widespread presumption that Trump ‘couldn’t’ win reflected a powerful urge not just to want continuity but to expect it. Yet somehow we ama’s artefact of its time – or we didn’t must do that without losing a fierce think we had. Clinton supporters in New York City react to news of Donald Trump’s victory in Florida on 8 November. It strikes me now that. Whig view of inexorable progress (until The Trump supporters I interviewed America became Top Nation and history wanted a political counter-revolution. that supporter meant to imply that and grew up smiling knowingly at the Clinton was literally born outside the US devastatingly witty take-down of the but. from Thomas Jefferson to Ronald unarticulated assumption that things can Reagan. a new framework for writing about these age in the wake of the ending of the Cold ship in the past few lurches from zig to zag – for example. most It is difficult to write history without purity as it is about advancement. too. for sudden discontinuity of this kind. Even so. Intellectually. is as much about a restoration of past At root. his promised political explosion only get better in the end. but perhaps we need Historians of my generation came of historical scholar. came to a full stop) in the 1930 book Surveys showed that support for Trump 1066 and All That. we never swallowed the 90s conceit unarticulated ironic. decades has been replaced in the White House by a reality perhaps the 1990s prepared us very badly written with a deep. it seemed.

healthcare and education reform. Many more Cubans find it hard to be categorical either way. say. a father 18 ILLUSTRATION BY KATE HAZELL . political repression and isolation. Simplistic binary questions that demand snap verdicts rarely produce good history. as historians like to by their whereabouts in the world. Fidel’s divisive legacy points Castro’s global political impact and complex legacy will persist long aft a er his death – so it may be too soon to make simplistic judgments about his life BY TANYA HARMER Expert opinions on the historical issues behind today’s news ow any individual historian that is available. will be determined tion. To others he was its saviour: a man who led a revolutionary movement to victory. Life. and measured reflec- H writes about Fidel Castro. the evidence many Cubans – inside and outside Cuba – he was the devil incarnate: the cause of the island’s poverty. At its to understand the historical significance best. To them. constructed and legacy of a figure such as Fidel and conceptualised in multiple ways Castro. firmly established Cuba’s independence on the world stage and brought about much needed land. history is contested. It relies on decisive leaders of the 20th century. History is not uniform and it is seldom This is even more true when trying monochrome – nor should it be. who died in November 2016. Fidel was and is an enduring fact of life. one of the most divisive and across space and time. To the questions we ask. is more complex.THE BRIEFING G Viewpoints POLITICS View.

assassination. questions historians must ask are not for access to Cuban archives for the Then. As one Cuban the island’s affairs from 1898 onwards. of his global impact and his legacy are an idea – albeit a particularly potent one. Seen from a distance. violently overthrown. Yet his critiques of neoliberalism Addressing the question ‘why’ forces us thetic to ideas of radical reform. ideas will remain relevant or be single-handedly coming down from the aries: fight a different. the world irrevocably. the Cold War. Under Castro’s leader. a complicated legacy. without reference to Cuba’s States and global capitalism than the include the Cold War protracted struggle for independence Soviet Union ever was. without this larger perspective. immunise the world from his example. history at the London Americanism. context and significance and exaggeratedly feared by upholders of a revolutionary wave that swept through of a man who. it is too early to tell whether Castro’s ideas will remain relevant or be con- signed to a previous epoch figure who personified the character and and the United States’ intervention in and audacity split the political left. consistent challenger of the United Her specialisms Certainly. amid the what and who Castro was – good/bad. It proved they are. unrelenting battle consigned to a previous epoch. embraced by that small powers could act like giants perspectives and consider the broader revolutionary hopefuls around the world on the world stage. we will have to wait for millions caught in the middle. when constructed and propagated by those path transformed history. One hopes that. guns. cannot be understood All the while. as if Castro might become irrelevant. it seemed for a moment achieved power and made the decisions again. shape of their nation. they will weigh up different who seized power in 1959. But it is also an inaccu. island than one man’s life ever will. covert operations thoughts”. he and why Cubans still resist the idea of and reformist programmes to try to defies one-dimensional labels and leaves a US-brokered alternative. It also shaped Tanya Harmer Fulgencio Batista in different ways. And it inspired implications. changed the status quo. along with the organisation in the 1960s that radically in international popularity of his nationalism and anti. countered in the 1950s was not sympa. employing money. as demonstrated in With profound political and Castro did not exist in a vacuum. Castro’s decision to choose the former yet to be written. Yet context. It was a it is too early to tell whether Castro’s economic changes on the horizon. and how he transformed history. Have your say Share your thoughts on this issue’s columns by emailing us With profound political and at worldhistories@historyextra. America at the turn of the 21st century within a longer Cuban history of Those who tried to change their countries and then globally in the aftermath of rebellion that tells us more about the democratically had been undermined or the 2008 financial crash. he did. transformed the idea of ‘third worldism’. in the 1990s. despite continue to resonate. it His enemies distorted the world in exile explained to me. did he create the conditions for revolution Árbenz in Guatemala in 1954. for all his crimes. Latin America. His methods and Latin America Æ 19 . rate one that ignores thousands of other ship. “intense reflection and contradictory a dictatorial regime continues to exist torture. his death sparked is impossible to understand why response. The world Castro en. to position Castro urgent problems and grassroots support. post-1959 period – still mostly sealed and triumphal celebrations at the end of visionary/anachronistic – but why he inaccessible to historians. can help. nor the CIA-sponsored coup against Jacobo economic changes on the horizon. Castro was a far more School of Economics. first in Latin to look at context. Cuba helped bring about the end of Cubans across the island who also colonialism in Africa and weakened fought against US-backed dictator apartheid South Africa. The idea of the heroic guerrilla powerful lesson to would-be revolution. To fully make sense of the decisions The results were catastrophic and violent But perhaps the more interesting made by Castro. Histories mountains to liberate Cuba is just that: – or compromise and fail. a global ‘Tricontinental’ revolutionary is associate professor Castro’s appeal.

By 1975. Included in the loyalist diaspora to War. when 45. parliament in 1833.000 email inquiries. A smaller number took up the territory we now call Canada has been the wake of the American Revolution same offer during the War of 1812. immigration from the United States has increased in the 21st century. one of the and sought protection behind British This is not the first time that the nation’s founding moments occurred in lines. (1775–83). Canada rarely troubles the consciousness of most Americans.000 deserters and draft-resisters (along with an even larger the United States British North America were 3. which later motivated – movement of Americans to a safe haven for became the province of Ontario. but the deep. the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration website crashed. a Montreal law firm specialis- ing in immigration received 6. the British escape the triumphant Patriots. also Canada was prompted by the Vietnam refugees from began as a loyalist settler colony. The colonies of New Americans who followed the North This is not Brunswick and Cape Breton were carved out of the old province of Nova Scotia in Star to British jurisdictions where slavery was formally abolished by an act of the first time 1784 to accommodate the newcomers. Indeed.000 loyalists fled to With tensions over slavery continuing what was left of British North America to to wrack the United States. This migration who overwhelmed the indigenous peoples ended with the American Civil War that Canada and the Acadians who had survived the (1861–65). Although it is unlikely that Canada will be overwhelmed by American citizens. some 30. States. Upper Canada. as the outcome of the US presidential election became clear.500 black number of people holding left-leaning 20 ILLUSTRATION BY KATE HAZELL . a trend that has largely gone unnoticed amid the much greater influx of peoples seen as a safe haven for slaves who had been promised their from all over the world seeking security refugees from the United freedom if they escaped their masters and opportunity. who had North America colonies became home seized their property and subjected many to at least another 20. visceral fear inspired by Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric worked powerfully on many troubled voters. has been seen as vicious deportation by the British earlier Another major – and politically in the century.THE BRIEFING G Viewpoints NORTH AMERICA Border politics Trump’s election sparked a surge in US citizens looking north to Canada – but we’ve seen this situation before BY MARGARET CONRAD n the night of 8 November O 2016.000 African- of them to violence. And between midnight and 5am that night.

they are (1992–2003) from 40 to 31%. Those without knowledge suggesting that US citizens move to in your own time by reading popular of the past can become cynics and say: the island in the province of Nova history (such as Barbara Tuchman) “well. away from the habit of reading serious ‘history of western civilisation’ courses JOY CUMMINGS/TOM PILSTON-GUARDIAN NEWS & MEDIA LTD It remains to be seen whether Canada books.. Meanwhile Shopify. None of them offer can sustain its liberal values in the period from 1984 to 2004 shows that targeted courses that will give young current political climate – but an influx the percentage of 17 year olds who rarely people the tools to become autonomous of progressive Americans might well read for pleasure (hardly ever or never) human beings and will also illustrate serve to bolster that outcome. 2012) As might be expected. for instance. probably they are all lying. New Zealand Æ 21 . their ability to Otago. tyrant of their own choosing. the new world of visual I know of no university that addresses States. that figure for and politics at Canadaa (Cambridge the university seniors of 2005 was 63%. James R Flynn at the University of The same set of American data shows is emeritus professor New Brunswick. has received surgery. for people who live only in the bubble of website ‘Cape Breton if Trump Wins’. rose from nine to 19. that 49% of 2001’s high-school students in the schools Her books include read little (less than one hour per week) of psychology A Concise History of or nothing for pleasure. Universities educate since I finished my English major. eorge Orwell thought read prose is declining. I experienced this phenomenon to do so. You might think that university Margaret Conrad would provide an antidote – but instead is professor emerita it appears to be counterproductive. I haven’t read a book currently engulfing their neighbour. the United States when it became safe already captive minds. He was mistaken. but a majority stayed. an or great novels that illuminate a period they cannot live up to the ideal of a good Ottawa-based e-commerce company of history (Erich Maria Remarque). young people are losing touch with history – with alarming results BY JAMES FLYNN values) had slipped across the border. or conveyancing. American data covering the or general education.” An enterprising radio announcer in for vocations: you can be good at brain This isn’t just a problem restricted Cape Breton. the percentage that how everything they are taught read almost every day fell from 31 to 22. 80% of helped me to locate a book and I asked Canadians are not averse to taking them could not name one (“I think him if he had ever read the author. that has a major presence in the United However. READING HISTORY The distant past By abandoning books. He advantage of the divisive experience there may have been someone named replied: “Actually. either. citizen who tells them to “stop”. A government a surprising number of serious inquiries drama. As in earlier G that a manipulative state would have to rewrite history.” but Scotia. When. blending I asked my university students in New first-hand on one occasion when comfortably into Canada’s ever-changing Zealand to evaluate a 20th-century I visited my local library. the University of UP. and be no more intellectually and a shallow media define the world since he launched his tongue-in-cheek autonomous than a medieval serf. accomplishes that objective.”). Hitler in Russia. posted a ‘moving to Canada’ entertainment is seducing young people this problem. You may pick up rough knowledge the present. recently. apart from teaching futile playlist on its website. both earned a bachelor’s degree and could read with reasonable proficiency declined over one decade refugee movements. Those who and the liberal government of the then prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau refused to deport them. or Spanish to education.. A young man multicultural landscape. many returned to If people know no history.

and hard about the purpose of writing things.” The past was all but lost.. told in beautiful. had to be pieced together because When I have gone. He the light of day and plunges it into does so in a way that will resonate with utter darkness – whether deeds of no read his Historia Brittonum. like a chattering jay.. apologised to those who information he collated could best be compared to flowers plucked from Peter Frankopan a “heavenly meadow”. nor gave It is easy to forget that writing history away. my praises and my fame. Time is like a stream. run as follows: was glorious and unstoppable – but also carries the implicit message that things changed irrevocably with the conquests “Time. any information in their books about is as important as the events historians tant: unless commemorated in writing. critically acclaimed ALAMY But my favourite author when it The Silk Roads historians detail comes to taking a view of the purpose of (Bloomsbury.. a Welsh monk writing in the in flora but because he felt that the ninth century. 2015) 22 ILLUSTRATION BY KATE HAZELL .THE BRIEFING G Viewpoints WRITING HISTORY history writing – and its achievements – is the wonderful 10th and 11th-century Past masters Persian author Ferdowsi. And in that. The he opening lines of my author captures a past in which Persia T favourite narrative history. away with it everything that has seen though. is senior research Writing history but other scholars would swarm to fellow at Worcester his bouquet of facts like “faithful bees College. significance. not because of his expertise or interest flow of time. and And men of sense and wisdom will proclaim about the past.. says Nennius commemorating the past was interesting exploits. is the way Ferdowsi signs off. for: that people will keep reading their see it? Or to give salutary lessons that can which he called the Liber Floridus work when they are part of the memo- be impressed on contemporary leaders? – ‘Book of Flowers’. the narrator is central to the great deeds of great people? To explain Saint-Omer wrote in the early 12th story. That is why history is so impor.000 years ago. – there weree no experts. this island of Britain”. as their predecessors knew. Not only that. I shall not die. in itself – and that as well as admiring Historians often question the Other historians are more ornate protagonists and antagonists. or those that are mighty made a heap out of all that I could find. with a glittering cast of characters. “I pray that every reader who I’ve reached the end of this great history Written in the mid-12th century. telling the story of the world from its the writer’s role is vital creation until the eve of the Arab BY PETER FRANKOPAN conquests in the seventh century. he composed yet. Ferdowsi how the past has shaped the present? To century that he wanted to write down was saying something all historians pray interpret the world around them as they everything he knew in a single volume. perpetually. which flies irresistibly and of the followers of Muhammad. Is it to record and flowery – literally. a huge statue of Historians may sometimes question him stands in the centre of Tehran. sweeps up and carries What I love most about the text. Lambert of and defeats. Ferdowsi was aware that the act of key events and “even the greatest having no need for experts. Komnene wrote. “I have many historians writing today – at least.” he wrote. victories purpose of their work. The history is a blend of fact and myth. Forget about detail. that washes memories “teachers had no knowledge.” those with bulletproof self-confidence: and worthy of commemoration. Nennius. He chose this name ries being washed away by the relentless Some do not attain such lofty ideals. I suppose. for And all the land will fill with talk of me that text is the work of a deeply having attempted. Here’s hoping. mournful couplets. The Alexiadd of Anna Komnene. these seeds I’ve sown will save thoughtful scholar who pondered long or like some feeble witness. the epic Shahnamehh (Book of Kings). Oxford is as important that may fly together to them and drink and author of the as the events that the sweetness of the heavenly nectar”. to write these My name and reputation from the grave. shall read this book may pardon me. in Ferdowsi Square – where else? the purpose of their profession – Writing 1. vanish in silent darkness”. He is one of an elite band of historians whose name has survived for centuries.

Immediate Media Should be a good weekend treat. by email history of the west’s dominance provided a range of fascinating perspectives. by email @menysnoweballes. Bravo! Email First issue of BBC World Histories! and analysis. on Twitter £9.. It offers something different in the market. Now all look so classy. All orders subject to availability. history is one of the most important jobs last week. You managed was relevant to events happening now. Every article in the inaugural Christmas. which I feel helps to build to finish it! Thanks.99 for Rest of World. how important the past can be in current I picked up a copy just before affairs. Serious writing Facebook k facebook.. Company Bristol Limited. too. I think for writing about BR Ambedkar. those who do not learn Bettany Hughes and Peter Frankopan from the past are doomed to repeat their were particularly interesting. Prices including postage are: £8. Post BBC World Histories. Join the conversation Also very smart looking. India’s Second World War story and Istanbul’s diverse past I think it is very important that Perfect read for long drive south. the other thing that ensured It’s super-cool that the global I kept coming back to have another flick turn in history is now mainstream through the pages is the fact that they enough for a popular magazine. conversation piece on Istanbul between as we all know.49 for UK residents. Tower House. and demonstrates Congratulations on issue one. to Sunil Khilnani or call us on 0844 844 0250+ and quote barriers between ‘us’ and ‘them’. so this is @AlexBescoby. I eagerly await the next issue The article that stood out for me. to learn more of how the past has shaped however. says reader Alex Bescoby historical issues and reflections. we need more in university GETTY IMAGES waiting for this. on Twitter Fairfax own nation. Bristol BS1 3BN. on Twitter The legacy of social reformer BR Ambedkar – a statue of whom is pictured above – is still Like the mix of contemporary and felt in India today. THE BRIEFING G Feedback Feed- back Readers respond to our first issue which explored – among other things – whether the west’s dominance is over. @AshutoshM_India. UK 23 . on Twitter @broomfieldhill. whose WORLHA16* the pursuit of the idea of a shared world deep legacy I felt in Delhi and Ratnagiri * Subscribers to BBC History Magazine pay only £6. on Twitter I suddenly realised that I’ve been Twitterr twitter. was the Big Question: getting today – and how it may shape tomorrow. and spent far too much time issue. Rob Banino. for historians at the @sjdawes73. by email telephone company’s access charge.49 for Europe and £9. from the feature on Istanbul to the engrossed in it instead of paying attention piece on relations between east and west. to my visiting relatives. seven experts to give their take on the Adam Oakley. and a Kindle-busting. Please allow up to 70 days for a valuable step in the right direction. + Calls will cost 7p per minute plus your Mike Ashford. Lines are open 8am–8pm weekdays & 9am–1pm Saturday May I congratulate you on the first issue. Hats off to all involved. but Chris In today’s world a publication such as Bowlby’s feature on populism and the this is more valuable than ever – because. Of course. to pack in plenty of good stuff. MISSED ISSUE 1? we learn about world history let’s see if I can hide from two You can still order a copy online at rather than just the history of our excitable toddler nephews long enough buysubscriptions. mistakes. delivery.99. beautiful object.

at one point. Seeing red An undated portrait of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin who. Victor Sebestyen GETTY IMAGES argues. “created an autocratic regime that. was imitated by nearly half of the countries in the world” 24 .

Victor Sebestyen assesses the global legacy of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and introduces the real man behind the myth of the communist colossus Æ 25 .LENIN’S LUST FOR POWER The Russian Marxist led a revolution that would turn the world upside down.

Yet he returned to seize power in one of the largest empires If Lenin had not been in the city of Petrograd (now known as in the world. the first Marxist state. Lenin was just one of the scores of aliases he used in an ef- 26 . a bloody social experiment. whose influence on the world since 1917 has arguably been as signifi- cant as that of anybody else. did many of the other leading Russian nobility. victims of ing completely alternative ways of looking at the world.Lenin’s legacy The personal is political Lenin’s elder brother. and and very likely no Cold War in the way that it developed through. almost certainly no Soviet Union. So. his father held a senior position in the tsarist civil ser- communists of the time. and created a kind of autocratic regime professing St Petersburg) 100 years ago. Much of Lenin’s political style lives It is not only his later biographers who argue for on still. undoubtedly – and whether one likes him or loathes him – was Lenin. from Africa to the Caribbean and Central America. even – of Lenin in the revolutionary story. a century after the triumph of the revolution he led. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov was born in 1870 into Russia’s minor ferent ways. decades. vice. ALAMY/AKG IMAGES the crucial importance – the irreplaceability. photographed in prison Devoted followers before his execution for plotting Lenin (in the centre of the picture) against the tsar – an event that takes a stroll in Stockholm with shaped Vladimir’s politics fellow political exiles during a break in his train journey back to revolutionary Russia in April 1917 “Without Lenin. and commanded no armies. He held no great offices of state the major events of history were driven not by the actions until his late forties. a few towering figures make the weather and turn events. half of the countries in the world – from Europe to Asia. an idealistic socialism that was at one point imitated by nearly munist revolution in Russia. Among them. the an exile in various European cities. and before 1917 he had spent nearly half of of individual men and women but by strong. there would not have been a com. his chief lieutenant Revolutionary realist in the 1917 revolution. Aleksandr Ulyanov. Over many out the 20th century as an ideological clash of civilisations offer. too. held nowadays by a majority of historians in the west. social and political forces. Leon Trotsky. Throughout most of his wanderings as as powerfully as the life and career of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. made the point many times and in dif. Instead he spent much of his life in the reading rooms of an arxist thinkers believe that assortment of public libraries. sweeping econom. his adult life as a political refugee living in humble boarding ic. Nothing contradicts the theory houses outside Russia. He never fought in a battle. Lenin had just a handful of man who led the first communist revolution and who created followers who believed in his revolutionary message. millions of people would die in its name. there would likely have been no Soviet Union and no Cold War” M In the ‘great man’ interpretation of history.

but from around 1900 it was the one that stuck. His thirst for revenge after his brother was impressed by the manifest force of his intellect. Germany had facilitated his return – a piece of luck that contributed to Bolshevik victory fort to evade the censorship of the Romanovs’ clumsy. Others were better orators who flew into tremendous rages that would leave him exhaust. tightly knit. though many people who heard him were ed. a unpopular. him and which drove his politics. This is why eral society in provincial Russia. then exiled in Marxist theory constantly: “Without theory there can be no Siberia and later moving to western Europe. writ. He turned his Bolshevik Party into and the right) is that he was an icy.” When ideology clashed with opportunism. unfeeling. Lenin is often depicted as a rigid ideologue. ingly loyal corps of comrades. conspiratorial. one-dimensional a disciplined. his mind and his strategy completely if it advanced his goal. how to achieve it and what it could be used for. organised.” he would say regularly. In fact he was a highly emotional man compelling logic that had real force. chess. a supremely clever tactician who thought with care. unquestion- individual. After his flair and a sense of timing. not holy Unlike many other dictators. though at his best he had a clarity and a favourite game. But the sentence autocracy. Many other revolutionaries could ful deliberation – rather in the way that. He spouted been jailed for his revolutionary activity in 1895. This had a profound effect on Lenin succeeded while other revolutionaries whose names we no Lenin. But he possessed hanged (for an assassination plot against Tsar Alexander III) qualities that other revolutionaries lacked: he had subtle tactical motivated Lenin as powerfully as did any ideology. and prompted a crisis in the tsarist regime. convinced that the socialist revolution forces – played a part in Lenin’s victory. Marxism was like a religion to Lenin. famously. unlike so One of the enduring myths about Lenin the man (as opposed to many other fanatics he would not allow his tiny groupuscule to ‘Lenin the idea’. as it was to so many of Fortunes of war the early believers. But Lenin was different. brutish revolutionary party. he played his write as well as Lenin. he enjoyed an idyllic child. fuelling a hatred for the liberal bourgeoisie that never left longer remember were discarded into the dustbin of history. as often portrayed by historians of both the left remain merely a talking shop. and he understood the nature of pow- brother’s execution his whole family was shunned by polite lib. which caused chaos in Russia. even prostrate. not least the outbreak of could come in the here and now – not in the far-off future or the First World War. Lenin founded and led the ultra-radical Bolsheviks. he invariably hood surrounded by a loving family. Having communist fanatic. and public speakers. luck – or maybe some of those sweeping historical man and an optimist. Lenin was in Æ 27 . He was a practical Of course. it was deeply AKG IMAGES some afterlife. tion of his elder brother – radicalised him almost overnight. that followed is often ignored: “Theory is a guide. and this is true up to a point. He could change in politics until his 18th year when a family tragedy – the execu. He wasn’t at all interested chose the tactical path above doctrinal purity. er. Inflammatory speech Lenin addresses the throngs in Petrograd on his return from exile in Switzerland on 16 April 1917.

gambling that he would seize power. Their three-way relationship Lenin pictured during an interview with Armand was “a rare example late on in his life. He allowed a freely elected parliament to sit for just make a separate peace and take Russia out of the war. during the first of that year’s was keeping it – an obsession he passed down to his successors. revolutions. He could er illegitimately. of a romantic triangle in which all He could laugh – even. Lenin cleverly built on that luck. He ny forced the abdication of the last Romanov emperor. Inessa Armand.and his wife Lenin with Nadezhda Krupskaya The man behind the myth in 1922. a series of new workers’ rights. hunting. Lenin’s lover. then the tsar was not a democrat. He thought near the Alps. too. “He was not vain. The only occasion on which Lenin ever visibly cried in public was at Armand’s funeral in 1920 . imitated wherever communist regimes came to supporters return to Russia. power. He loved nature. suspicious. much of it is what Trotsky. more than 70 years. pictured around 1895. and nor were several figures in the government. Lenin launched the ‘Red Terror’ to destroy his opponents. The Germans helped Lenin and some of his then the KGB. and with the founder of the state. 12 hours before abolishing it – perhaps a record in brevity. He persuaded. shooting and fishing. while the liberal Provisional Gov. and wrote lyrically about walking 1917 there would have been no Bolshevik takeover. of the more decent parts of Lenin’s character found their way Lenin took power in a coup – not a democratic process. of the 74-year history of the Soviet state. which explains so much to like it. There would not be another elected parliament in Russia for paigned against the war. The regime that Lenin created was largely shaped by his Lenin was an adroit tactician.. but it wasn’t close enough to a peak for him to be happy. The state that Lenin founded was moulded very much in his tant Bolsheviks into taking over the government when many of own ascetic image – but there were other aspects to Lenin.. three protagonists appear to have at himself. hectored and bullied his reluc. Back in Russia. meant by his now unintelligible.” writes Victor Sebestyen behaved in a civilised fashion” Switzerland in February 1917 when. occasionally. His ‘nature notes’ and 28 . through the countryside. bread riots and a mass army muti. One of the reasons he remained in From the first moment after his Bolshevik revolution in Oc. both while alive and after his the assets of the rich – “enemies of the people” – would be seized. Lenin and his comrades felt insecure. which morphed into the NKVD and Nicholas II. Switzerland for so long during his exile from Russia was to be GETTY IMAGES tober 1917. That He wrote reams of text about Marxist philosophy. He cam. Mountain man ocratic politician. established the Cheka. But he loved mountains almost as much as categorical claim that if Lenin had not been in Petrograd in he loved making revolution.. his comrades opposed him. originally one of his opponents. personality: secretive. a series of strikes.. He lived in London for nearly two years and grew that power could slip away at any time. Few ernment that took over from the tsar was no match for him. The test of Lenin’s leadership was not as a dem. intemperate. Bankers who had profited from the war would be jailed. Lenin’s only real concern for the rest of his life identify hundreds of species of plants. but into the public sphere of his Soviet Union. and promised land to Russian peasants. and to take back control from the Throughout its existence the Soviet Union identified itself elite. Eventually they came round. death. Having achieved pow. intolerant.

as funeral in 1920. It was perfect- He retained power personally for just over four years before fail. tion to lead Russia after him. But during his years of feuding with essa died. He could laugh – even. Their ménage a trois is a touching vain. three and a half years before his own. at himself. and his behaviour reflected the way he was ous. ing health rendered him physically and mentally incapable. the Vozhd. he never asked about protagonists appear to have behaved in a civilised fashion. the Bolshevik revolution turned Anjelica Balabanova. But. as the Russians say. unlike Stalin.. (Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ed by his successor. he de. in Goethe’s phrase. herself childless. and loathe him. has always needed – a dom.. Romanov autocracy into which he was born. became in effect the fellow revolutionaries and battling to maintain his grip on power guardian of his mistress’s children (none of whom were his). left a man like Stalin in a posi. Josef Stalin. in February 2017 by inant. against opponents was justified for a greater end. invariably kind. observed percep.Intimate Portrait. occasionally. That was a historic crime. He never donned uniforms or military-type tunics. Weidenfeld & Nicolson 29 . that his country needs – indeed. published day. Inessa Armand. but he did terrible things. ruthless leader: a boss or. After In. Architect of terror Felix Dzerzhinsky (centre). Mao Zedong or Hitler. and he wanted to change the world. He believed. The fact that Lenin It remains a suitable epitaph. Russia never recovered. and nor did old comrades who grew to fear Victor Sebestyen is a many of its neighbours. The the details of his victims’ deaths in order to savour those mo- only time Lenin visibly broke down in public was at Armand’s ments. tively that Lenin’s “tragedy was books include Revolution 1989: nical and corrupt Russia. favoured by other dictators. tyran. a sadist or personally vicious. head of Lenin’s secret police.The Fall of the Soviet Empire less the socialist utopia he dreamed of than a mirror image of the sired the good. as he predicted that it would. one of his the world upside down. The 2009).” says Sebestyen “Lenin built a system based on the idea that political terror was jus- tified for a greater end” letters to his family reveal aspects of Lenin that would surprise Lenin thought himself an idealist. “Lenin had not always been a bad man. intelligent and beautiful woman. He had not always been a bad man. A poisonous legacy He built a system based on the idea that political terror Lenin wanted power. In personal relationships he was For a decade Lenin had an on-off love affair with a glamor.historian and journalist whose Lenin was the product of his time and place: a violent. The revolutionary state he created was that. His latest work is GETTY IMAGES was Russian is as significant as his Marxist faith. but created evil”. he never showed generosity to a defeated opponent nor per- formed a humanitarian act unless it was politically expedient. He was not a monster. people who imagine him as a distant and unfeeling figure. He was not came a close friend of his wife. but the ideas were Lenin’s. but he did terrible things. brought up – like an upper-middle-class gentleman. He was not story – a rare example of a romantic triangle in which all three cruel. Lenin’s wife. who be. as worst of Lenin’s evils was to have Lenin the Dictator: An some supporters of Russia’s current leader Vladimir Putin do to.

30 Russia’s Re .

March in February Striking workers carry banners through the streets of Petrograd (St Petersburg) at the start of the February Revolution that brought the fall of the Russian monarchy the next month GETTY IMAGES The state created by the Bolsheviks after the toppling of the Romanov monarchy in 1917 survived two world wars and beyond. Robert Service traces the rise and fall of communist Russia. whose mission to export socialist revolution rippled through world politics across a century volutions 31 Æ .

to welcome the prospect of democracy. October. Russia. Both were outstand- Béla Kun. to the entire world. he recruited a former anti-Bolshevik in their own countries. and Nicholas II was acknowledged that Russia had become “the freest country in dismissed as a butcher of the peoples in his empire. cold to the October Revolution. The urban economy There had been similar presentiments in 1905. When peo. Lenin had convinced his party that soviets could serve The revolutionary parties. conditions proved helpful. the Bolshevik War against Germany and Austria-Hungary. The Russian political system was widely reviled as lowing the monarchy’s demise. and many western politicians. Leon Trotsky. and that the Allied cause could impact on politics on a global scale for many only benefit. But the earlier revolution in February was to fight the Germans with heightened morale and efficiency. bring communism would now be able. under a liberal-led provisional government. Even Bolshevik leader Lenin the bastion of political reaction in Europe.Communist revolutions T he Russian Revolution of 1917 had an enormous from the Russian body politic. they asserted. to call for an end to the monarchy. to the Bolshevik they reasoned. GETTY IMAGES United Kingdom. adequately interpret the doctrines of Marx and Engels. Strikes. were disappointed that Nicholas had managed to cling on to his throne. Ultimate real authority lay not the State Duma (Russia’s first elected parliament) and to permit with the cabinet but with the workers’ councils (‘soviets’) that broader freedom of expression and assembly. by which Lenin and the Bolsheviks winter. But he had been humbled. and Nicholas was com- pelled to issue the ‘October Manifesto’. By upon the death of his father in 1894. The administration disintegrated. two revolutions that year. when the collapsed. Accessible communism and the Romanov monarchy was never the same again. rural disturbances and mutinies came Lenin deemed that only close to bringing down the monarchy. But the Russian army on the ple write about historic impact they are nearly always referring eastern front was acquitting itself well during that long. along with France and the ernment. party on the grounds that they agreed both about When Nicholas II stepped down in the revolu. both liberals and far-left socialists as the foundations of a revolutionary administration. he surprised even his own party in the way olutionaries and reformers around the globe. Short istence of an elected parliament had an influence on rev. By the end of 1906 Nicholas II had stabilised his authority – albeit at a price: he had to allow the creation of broke down in the armed forces. in which he promised to he could adequately in- undertake reforms encompassing civic freedoms and elective representative institutions. And over the next sprang up in cities. who took to the streets There were. abdicated in March 1917 there were joyous celebrations not aimed to exploit any opportunity to overthrow the new cabinet only in Russia but also in Paris and London. Those he successfully adapted to the demands of open pol- in Turkey and China took heart. such as the Bolsheviks. Lenin. Crowds gathered and unfurl the flag of communist revolution. However. Nothing came close to it in importance serial philanderer Grigory Rasputin had brought the imperial – a fact recognised at the time and which contin. Where Russia had led. the need to stop the First World War and about tionary crisis of March 1917. of course. At first communist ing in their ability to simplify communist doctrines revolutionary it was believed by pro-war politicians in Paris and who led Hungary for and policies to a form that was accessible to listeners London that a dynastic incubus had been excised a few months in 1919 who knew nothing of Marxist intellectual intricacy. and discipline massacre of peaceful petitioners outside the Winter Palace was followed by public demonstrations throughout the cities of the Russian empire. the opportunity to overthrow the provisional gov- ically different. Nicholas’s indulgence of the religious mystic and decades. and the Bolsheviks worked hard to get few years he tried to claw back the powers that he had inherited themselves elected to leading positions in these councils. at that time living in exile in Switzerland. When he the world”. Petrograd workers and garrison soldiers. was accompanied by savage repression of the rev- olutionary parties. Though Lenin was a rousing speaker. Returning to Petrograd in their effort to secure the transformation of politics April 1917. The Lenin was a fanatical Marxist who deemed that only he could spectacle of Nicholas ‘the Bloody’ being forced to accept the ex. acclaimed at the time as an event of momentous international Foreigners who yearned for reform in their own countries significance because it brought the downfall of the Romanov were impressed by the extent of the changes that emerged fol- monarchy. and reinforced itics in the revolution. and stocky. Marxist leader. extracted from a terpret Marx’s doctrines reluctant tsar. surely others would quickly follow. court into disrepute. was involved in the First World Trotsky was an orator of genius. and food shortages snapped the patience of ues to prove compelling a full century later. including the Americans seized power in Petrograd and proclaimed the start of a new era – who joined the war in April – were jubilant that free Russia in human affairs that would. This concession. the situation was rad. 32 .

For Allied politicians. surely. Fallen tsar Russia’s last monarch. The Bolshevik party believed that if only it could communi- cate its message to workers and soldiers on both sides in the war. too. too. and Germany came close to the Winter Palace in breaking the back of the western front in the Petrograd. there would be a ‘European socialist revolution’. That would decisively tip the military balance against the Allies. would rise up and throw out their govern- ments. and that civil war and dictator- ship were the likeliest results. The war was over. Soon. A general peace was to be arranged in the world war. Lenin and his comrades had taken a political gamble they believed was a sure-fire bet. Large-scale industry and the banking system were nationalised. move smoothly from success to success. Lenin became chairman of Sovnarkom. They collectivisation had started. ejecting spring. and it was the cabinet of the provisional Russian the German war machine that cracked. found themselves. and the party’s rank and file endorsed their radicalism. pictured under arrest following his abdication in March 1917 at the end of the February Revolution The Bolshevik central leadership included other figures who bristled with political talent. All were committed to the ob- jective of overthrowing the provisional government. Call to arms Peace was signed between Sovnarkom A photo (possibly staged) shows and the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk in Bolsheviks storming March 1918. Ger- man divisions would be moved from east to west. government Utopian dreams dashed The Bolsheviks. meanwhile. Stalin rose ence that for ‘Soviet power’ to survive. if the truce became a permanent peace. Nicholas II. they must form a Red to power and instituted rapid industrialisation Army on principles of regular discipline. the new Soviet government. with ideas about liberating the initiative of Æ 33 . On 25 October. But everyone was aware that an event of huge international importance had taken place. It was obvious that. even if he were in power only briefly. Rival socialists in Russia warned that the odds were heavily against them. and they had a deep After Lenin’s death two suspicion of standing armies. Few people gave Sovnarkom much chance of en- during survival. would damage the war effort. and use the expertise of and agricultural officers who had served in Nicholas II’s armed forces. Most Old Bolsheviks GETTY IMAGES/AKG IMAGES Lenin and Josef Stalin of them had expected to undertake a revolution that would in discussion in 1922. which proclaimed a total reversal of previous policies. the Bolsheviks led the military-revolution- ary committee of the Petrograd Soviet into action and threw out the old cabinet. those people. Grigory Zinoviev and Felix Dzerzhinsky. Sovnarkom agreed a truce with the Germans and Austri- ans on the eastern front. Land was transferred to peasant control. they saw the Bolsheviks as irresponsible adventurers. among them Josef Stalin. But the French and British armies held firm. as their political enemies on the left had predicted. engulfed by a civil war. But they learned by hard experi- years later. the danger was that Lenin.

With Moscow’s help. shelter. translations of the works of Marx. the Bolshevik model was quickly adopted in Bavaria A Russian propaganda and Hungary in 1919. education and material well-being to all members of society. Far-left socialists shows the force of opposition to fascism. though. Red AKG IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES revolution was snuffed out in Munich within a few weeks. Faces of famine Lenin and Trotsky were made available. Red Army troops could be identified by the Exporting Bolshevism distinctive Budenovka cloth hat Down with fascism! adorned with a star Indeed. Communists produced cartoons of bloated capitalists. Russia’s communists were ad- vancing towards the creation of a new kind of society that would bring health. The word went forth A starving family in the Volga area. caused in part by the economic and logistic effects of the Russian Revolution The utopian. libertarian ideas that had inspired many in 1917 faded that. The utopian. The Bavarian revolutionaries were singularly in- determined to halt the competent. Engels. Instead they discovered that the Russian working class increasingly blamed them for failing to regenerate the economy and guarantee food supplies. however difficult the path. In postwar Europe Army. pictured c1920 during and even north America such ideas fell widely on fertile soil. State ownership was declared throughout the 34 . In nearly every country it proved possi- ble to set up organisations to challenge the governing elites. the idea being to form communist parties throughout the world. punitive organisation. and in the first instance the benefits would be directed towards the working poor. Bolshevism increasingly revealed and over-fed its principles of hierarchical. Hitler was pest. they put themselves for- ward as the only party that refused to bow the knee to the Allies. In Hungary.Communist revolutions ordinary factory workers. cigars in their mouths and purses of gold dangling from their belts. and anti-communist demobilised officers and soldiers suppressed similar attempts in Berlin. libertarian ideas that had inspired many party leaders and members in 1917 faded from the immediate agenda. Led by Béla Kun. Agents and subsidies were made available to achieve this. Nevertheless the Bolsheviks still adhered to the goal of glob- al revolution and in March 1919 created the Communist Inter- national (Comintern). Bolshevik leaders reacted by suppressing strikes and tightening their dicta- torship. the communists were better prepared. Vi- Revolutionary headgear cious commanders and dyspeptic bishops were often depicted as Soldiers of the Bolshevik Red the assistants of bankers and industrialists. exploiting the ‘proletariat’. lacking the practical skills that Bolsheviks spread of communism had developed in the long years during which they’d had to dodge the clutches of the tsarist secret police. the Russian civil war. seized their chance to take power in Munich and Buda- Conversely. where defeat in the war had led to politi- illustration from 1929 cal breakdown and food shortages. pictured during the famine that afflicted the area over the winter of 1921/22.

and for many years afterwards the communist Domination and decline leadership in Moscow dropped plans to export revolution to At first it appeared that the end of the October Revolution was Europe by military force. The struggle be- workers. From who sought to bring Christian civilisation to an end. continue to supply guidance and subsidies to and Leningrad and. At tion was at last dead in its home. This served to agitate those foreigners who dreaded the communist triumph. survived the internal battles over policy and the politi.Empire in Crisis. China. 1890–1928 glorified in the media. Thus those of its leaders who had not fled abroad. What Hitler had failed to Penguin History of Modern Russia: facilities ranging from primary schools to universities. It collectivist purposes of communism. the USSR and mention in its propaganda that several of the Bolshe. ple’s patriotic spirit. they spoke out against the world to accept its domination of eastern Europe. designated itself the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Gorbachev’s efforts served mainly to destroy the founda- (USSR). he portrayed himself as the only man in to communise the Poles but also to break through to Germany Europe who could prevent communism’s advance. ways to emulate its achievements through their own revolu- By 1920. including supported by. Stalin’s name was ceaselessly munism tumbled into the waste. The idea was not only came to power in 1933. In 1949 another great country. Such was Lenin’s confidence in the establishment of communism. a Russian Century (Penguin. the civil war in Russia had ended in a tions. Mikhail Gorbachev. tions of state power. For Leon Trotsky. Yet vik leaders were of Jewish origin. Josef Stalin. received the task of leading the communist – had inadvertently DISCOVER MORE campaign. volts in Russia and Ukraine.whose books include The the same time Stalin spread a network of modern educational land.Russia in Revolution: An political police was reinforced. The political far right seldom neglected to between the two superpowers. initiated a comprehensive campaign to deepen Gorbachev this was a personal tragedy because he fervently be- the foundations of Lenin’s October Revolution. nigh. Fascist parties sprang up to counter com. was at the fulcrum of the Cold War. dom. The October Revolu. Civil War. under- munist influences in their countries – and these went communist revolution. massed to repel invasion by the old national enemy. 1985. American military power. In December 1991 he saw that his dream cal success. The achieve by deliberate means. from 1936.Robert Service is a historian increased in size and re-equipped with advanced weaponry. Stalin introduced a programme of forced-rate industrialisation It was also a landmark in world and violent agricultural collectivisation. the USSR was ‘restructured’. the USA. This idea was em. and announced the abolition of the USSR. As reports grew about com. tradition and individual free. 2015) GETTY IMAGES mental agency in the USSR. and defended also acquired nuclear weaponry to compete with the values of faith. From 1928 lieved in what he regarded as the greatness of Lenin’s ideology. of the Soviet Union. which Gorbachev. communists. by contrast. civil war followed. However. among others. and realistically hope that foreign sympathisers would find and a Romanian invading force defeated Kun’s army. a From Tsarism to the Twenty-first communist party. which was already in charge of every govern. it was boasted. desperate at a time when it was facing peasant re. For many decades parties were organised according to a pattern of it appeared that communism’s territorial expan- hierarchy and militancy that copied Bolshevism sion would be difficult to prevent. using its industrial hinterland and its peo- parties belonging to Comintern. warplanes were sent by Fascist Italy and But Lenin had made a gross miscalculation. The powerful brought about. and Soviet com. 2017) 35 . The rivalry itself. When Hitler exporting revolution to central Europe. tween communism and fascism culminated in Hitler’s invasion Sovnarkom. The Red Army was history. of the USSR in 1941. The humiliation was complete. sued for peace. Dissent was mercilessly suppressed. crushed the German Wehrmacht and munist atrocities in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union took a leading role political reaction in the west. In Germany and France the Red Army that he deployed it against Poland with a view to communist parties were large. Governments and churches in the settlement after the Second World War. vocal and active. urban economy and an attempt was made to impose a collective At last. though. forcing the denounced the ‘red menace’. Russian – indeed. under the dynamic reforming leader Mikhail 25 December 1991 Lenin died in 1924 but the Soviet state. there was a predictable fought its way to Berlin. having overcome the challenge from was in tatters. the Soviet state could defend itself farming system on the peasantry. and he and resuscitate the will of far-left socialists and communist quickly suppressed the German communist party and arrested sympathisers to overthrow the German government. But the USSR re-grouped its defences outside Moscow It did. paper basket of history. The Red Army met the Third Reich to aid the revolt against a republic that was with tremendous resistance short of Warsaw as Poles. In the Spanish would be realised the dream of ‘European socialist revolution’. Soviet might came at an internal price that in the ployed as a way of portraying communists who pictured on the day of mid-1980s compelled the communist leadership operated in European countries as alien conspirators his resignation as leader itself to undertake comprehensive reform. by SA Smith (OUP.

High winds. David Render watched as one Cromwell tank. extensive beach defences and heavy German artillery fire made the initial landings in the early hours of 6 June extremely dangerous. drowning both of its crewmen 36 . overturned and sank.Eyewitness: Normandy landings Going for Gold A Cromwell Mk IV tank trundles off a British LST (Landing Ship. Tank) onto the beach sector codenamed Gold on 7 June – D-Day +1. dropped too far from shore.

which began on 6 June 1944: D-Day. the largest seaborne invasion in history. Allied forces suffered an estimated 3. on Omaha alone. infantry © CROWN COPYRIGHT. EYEWITNESS On the front line of history Normandy landings. Facing adverse weather. Omaha. I was even more surprised Æ 37 . progress on the first days of the invasion was slow and losses heavy. But over the following weeks the Allies consolidated their hold on Normandy. Gold. landing unseen in the retreating darkness” My passage to the D-Day beaches came about by accident. daunting defences and heavy gunfire. Juno and Sword. I was sent from my holding unit for young Royal Armoured Corps officers to oversee the loading of 16 Cromwell tanks onto a ship in Portsmouth harbour. Early that morning. France. Although it had begun two days previously. from where the liberation of German-occupied western Europe was launched. “Shells screamed through the air in a solid wall of sound. Having supervised the securing of tanks in the hold. IWM/MAP: BATTLEFIELD DESIGN/DAVID RENDER and armoured divisions landed at five beachheads codenamed Utah.686 casualties. I knew nothing of the invasion and had no idea that the ship I was working on was bound for Normandy. As a 19-year-old newly commissioned second lieutenant fresh out of Sandhurst. I approached one of the crew to enquire about getting off the ship – and was somewhat surprised when he told me that we had put to sea. 1944 David Render was a young lieutenant during the Allied assault on Normandy – Operation Neptune.

the rider ordered me on the back of his motorbike and we shot off towards the front line. Then I was spotted by an army the Allied push on Caen dispatch rider and. lies dead alongside his disabled anti-aircraft gun at Fontenay-le-Pesnel I spent the next day and night on my own. As we began our run into the beaches. unbeknown to me. Told to report to one of officer training the squadron commanders.Eyewitness: Normandy landings when he told me that we were heading to Normandy to take part in the invasion. Speaking only to ask me my name. IWM/DAVID RENDER Infantry of the British 49th Division dig in beside Sherman tanks at Rauray. on either side of us mighty battleships pounded the shoreline. where the British Second Army had already begun its advance inland. it was only then I learned that © CROWN COPYRIGHT. and narrowly south-east of Bayeux on escaped being killed by German and RAF fighters shooting 25 June. west of Caen. became an impromptu battlefield casualty replacement. on 30 June. taking its two crewmen to a watery grave. but witnessing such loss of life in those first few mo- ments had a profound impact on me at a time when I was still A German soldier wondering what an earth I was doing in Normandy. The Allies had planned to capture the important hub of Caen on D-Day but faced stiff resistance and only took the city more than a month later 38 . The break of dawn on D-Day +4 brought us within sight of the French coast. A few miles later David Render. killed during each other up over the beaches. where its Sher- towards the end of his man tanks had leaguered for the night. Little attention was paid to the bodies that floated face down in the sea as we made landfall and began dispatching the tanks into the surf. The first Cromwell off the ship’s ramp immediately turned turtle and sank below the waves. The remaining tanks were landed without mishap. pictured we arrived at a tank unit based in an orchard.

but ment through the north African campaign. In Major Semken’s words. 2016) p0201hng (UK only) 39 . Semken knew that. and the German machine guns opened up. from the other tanks were hitting it and soon we also found I knew I would only earn their respect if I could show that I was our mark. A Tiger tank appeared and was dealt with by a Sherman He taught us how to use our greater numbers of tanks. tough desert veterans who had fought with the regi. which included the defeat and capture culminating in the final drive into the heart of Germany at of the first German Tiger tank as a well as several panzers. leaving us to advance on our own. The Sher. those victories did not come without cost. By the time victory in Europe was Allied advance deep into German lines and was a tank commander declared in May 1945. Fontenay and Rauray. The ear-splitting whine and crack of a high-velocity man Tiger or 75mm armament of a Panther panzer could slice armour-piercing round heralded our first engagement through a Sherman tank like butter at 2. Armoured Troop Listen to original BBC reports from the Normandy tional plan. and I did that by always leading from the front. Major John Semken. the day. and Fortunately. major engagement. We knew little of the overall opera. he was a deep thinker. on 25 June and was designed to drive the Captain David Render others did not. the key was to “never hesitate”. Operation Epsom. it was our turn to advance with our in- men he had commanded. lets rattled harmlessly off our sides like jack-hammers. but shells concern among the men. The 88mm gun of a Ger. assisting British forces in with Stuart Tootal their push to capture the strategically important of Tank Action: An DISCOVER MORE city of Caen. loading and moving. the average life expec. My troop performed well and played its part. My arrival as his landing unseen in the retreating darkness 1.I had arrived at the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry (A Squad. though I survived. of fire and began to belch thick black smoke. They were all considerably older fantry. but to “fire first” and “keep firing”. Their bul- than me. Two of my This engagement. and to Firefly tank equipped with a heavier 17-pounder German 12th SS Panzer Division. The horizon was lit up by hundreds of British artillery pieces. replacement was not met with a welcoming response by the As the artillery lifted. The surviving crew members began to bail out of their stricken vehicle. while sible. we had an exceptional squadron leader. 0200 hours – time to go. cutting down any close-knit fields and high-banked hedgerows of the Nor. wreaked havoc on the soldiers of the Duke of Wellington’s nation to get to know me or support me. German soldier who tried to make a run for it as we drove man bocage. and they didn’t expect me to survive. The enemy tank lurched to a halt under a crescendo not afraid. Although we won every engagement. He intended to exploit this by using the engagement A Squadron had destroyed 13 enemy tanks the ground as cover and smothering every enemy tank with a with no loss of any Shermans: Semken’s principles had won combined weight of fire from as many of our Shermans as pos. It was still dark and raining hard as we readied our tanks ron). They had no after a few fitful hours of sleep.000 yards ahead. tanks to inflict heavy casualties on the more lightly armoured and under-gunned Allied variants. Our first destroying one of their tanks. we machine-gunned them before they could escape. while with enemy panzers. ron’s 5 Troop had been killed by a sniper. It was a disturbing fact that bred round missed and I cursed as I adjusted the shot.500 yards. The Germans had already used their superior deeper into their defensive positions. but had been told that we would face Commander’s War campaign in the BBC Radio 4 programme Witness: the fanatical former Hitler Youth soldiers of the 1944–45 (Weidenfeld Broadcasting D-Day at bbc. Conscious that I lacked experience. I looked at my watch: leading them into battle the next day. & Nicolson. Panthers and the less-well-armoured German Panzer Mark IV man’s greater mobility and faster rate of fire could give it an tanks in a frenzy of firing. killing many and forcing the remainder to go to tancy of a new tank troop commander in Normandy was less ground. as shells As I later found out. launched tanks were destroyed and. The noise was terrific. He is co-author strength of just over 600. A Panther tank broke from our right we had to get to almost point-blank range to have a chance of and I shouted fire-control orders to my gunner. and was to take command of a troop of three Shermans. We blasted every than two weeks. the Sher. We engaged more was under-gunned and lacked adequate protection. Regiment. the Sherwood Rangers force the enemy into a set-piece battle. which use the bocage to our advantage. Though only 23. though it Semken had brought up for the purpose. the end of the war. By the end of edge over German tanks. during the Second World had lost 440 men out of an established unit wood Rangers’ role was to capture the villages of War. the original commander of A Squad. screamed through the air overhead in a solid wall of sound. hedgerow with our own machine guns and high-explosive rounds to clear any cover that could be used by enemy The troops had been taken by surprise by the terrain – the machine-gun teams and anti-tank gunners. I had earned my spurs and won the respect of my men. Very shortly after I arrived in the regiment we put these principles into action in my first I led 5 Troop for another 11 months of bloody fighting.


and talk from both sides increasingly turning to nuclear weapons. But with relations between Russia and some western nations becoming increasingly frosty. THE BIG QUESTION Did the Cold War ever really end? The Cold War is often thought to have died after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. have reports of its demise been exaggerated? Seven historians offer their opinions Æ 41 .

First. It evolved over time. specialising in Anglo-American of Glasgow. It is over. can deploy only weak conventional history. Meanwhile. Kathleen Burk k is emeritus professor of modern and contemporary Evan Mawdsley y was professor of international history at the University history at University College London. especially nuclear. although states had been defeated or weakened. 2009) relations and 20th-century history 42 . in the international jungle. The response by both systems. when the US and UK 10 years. the US and the Russian Federation have coalition and the Soviet Union/Russia has. and were chilled further by governments decided that the hostility of the 2014 annexation of the Crimea. and the Russian Federation. Soviet leaders took socialism seriously: it was a buttress of What stabilised this period was the atomic standoff. XIV and of Napoleon. was global bipolarity. Those countries that endured proxy wars anti-liberal ideology or talks about ‘Eurasianism’. of Power as evidenced throughout humanity’s long history? The world changed profoundly in all three areas. One. invoking the ‘plague on both your each bloc together and impeded good inter-bloc relations. Washington and Moscow assembled alliance USSR assumed the same of the US.The Big Question: Cold War Evan Mawdsley Kathleen Burk “The Cold War was a “What was notable was product of the 1917 that in the 20th century revolution and the the superpowers forebore Second World War” actually coming to blows” Relations between the US and Russian Cold War is a term denoting the period Federation have been cool over the past between 1945. the alliance systems of the later Similarly. But the Cold quadrille. especially Nato and the Warsaw Pact. My own answer is that the Cold War never relationship. Only the name expired. because the only possible outcome for and then in the anti-colonial movement. and it will not return. Nuclear The question is whether the conflict between the US-led weapons still exist. as a There were the coalitions of the Peloponnesian War of the result of the collapse of the USSR. new era. ‘contain’ the enemy. The third feature any ‘winner’ was to be less damaged than the other. provides the basis for an international movement. But those play little role in their been in abeyance. The second sides was to build alliances all over the world in order to feature was ideology. These idea systems bound to be a member of either. as great and less great powers try to secure safety. Yet how did this Cold War differ from the classical Balance carried out through ideology rather than fighting. a consequence frequently saw the hand of the Soviets of the Second World War. in Europe could win a nuclear war. Relative power may differ. Major states will disagree and compete. His books include World War II: A New Historyy (CUP. the USSR to ‘the west’ was the fundamen- But those developments are part of a tal factor in international affairs. especially the eastern European alliance system. but neither were apparently of less account. the blocs were fifth century BC. and there was no support to weapons made military conflict on the scale of the Second utilise these weapons. no more. with a population ended because it was a part of a continuum since the dawn of now half that of the US. Second World War. and 1991. especially in eastern Europe. 20th century. but not the diplomatic forces. and it won the USSR eventual acceptance by the leaders of both sides that neither significant support among leftist political groups. excepting the countries that preferred not capitalism (or anti-communism). The ‘war’ was therefore a cold one. 20th century was that the two superpowers forebore actually The Russian Federation from time to time puts forward an coming to blows. and War was a product of the 1917 Russian Revolution and the advantage. and presumably the powers’. and those for and against Germany in the only limited support from its own friends. victory of the US and its allies. those of virtually every European war. the US receives 19th century. the US government essential features. The Cold War meant more when the end of the USSR signified the than tension between two major states. What was notable in the second half of the Marxism-Leninism ceased to be a powerful ideology. Many major in any disturbance in any country on the planet. and the their bloc. leaving the two ‘super others were sometimes less convinced. merely far more than other states. with no serious external threat. World War unthinkable. houses’ principle. but had three During this period. most famously the wars for and against the France of Louis The Russian Federation now lacks close allies or clients. since 1991. Such opinion supported this conclusion. Public was massive arms procurement. Marxism-Leninism versus liberal.

This is a totally new ballgame. they argued. it would be like China. Nor even is it to deny the Finally. In the new situation. these people were initially organised in the future. in Washington. decisively. So the Cold War has ended. a major realignment may be afoot. History did not who argued for the enlargement of Nato as a “zone of peace come to an end in 1989. smaller countries along the borders of the tally different visions of modernity – of Russian Federation. In Moscow. It was this on the margins: the military. We live in a new. He is writing Europe. Yet it would be a travesty of history to regard Putin’s Russia and its political system. Nor is it to deny never become a stable liberal democracy. authoritarian and corrupt power – as waging the the task of trying to ensure this outcome. This does not of course mean that all that has followed In the countries bordering the Russian Federation. ex-KGB latter competition that came to a deci. And each poured huge energies into – a regional. The Soviet Union and it as a threat to the ‘free world’. national- has been about peace and goodwill. especially to neighbouring nations like the Baltic thereby prevent a possibility of Russia’s geopolitical comeback. Reusing mothballed Cold War slogans. The leaders of those that a state like Putin’s Russia poses a genuine security threat countries opted for a preventive strategy: to join Nato and to Europe. as some suggested. they presented of Putin’s thought or that of China. These people viewed liberals organising politics. the US would not tolerate a strong. Yeltsin’s regime of the 1990s was ongoing competition between western liberal democracy and seen by diehard ‘Cold Warriors’ as a fleeting aberration from alternative world views. and democracy” as useful fools who served the right cause. against other challenges. contradictions. and bent on dominance in that of an autocratic and still nominally communist country Eurasia. China. messy world. from radical Islamism to powerful insecure and unpredictable our current world remains. each of which and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. when in the book from propaganda and bribery to outright use global liberalism in the US and Europe is checked by internal of military force. States or the Ukraine. society and economics. decisively in the direction of its economic system. And it was this War because they stretch reality too far. officials and ideologues of Russian national- sive end in the period between 1989 and 1991 when the ism. however divided. Those people could be met in three eastern blocs. After Russia annexed claimed to represent the future for all mankind. how the world should and would be DC. The Cold War did end in 1989–91 after all. I’m not at Crimea in 2014. 1945–1990 (Berghahn. and in Washington. Once it regained strength. Instead it was at root the key areas: post-Soviet elites in Moscow. was a very specific It was not preordained that these viewpoints would coalesce competition between two universalist models. rightwing competition that ended. whether those of Islamic extremists or the ‘eternal Russia’: authoritarian. with Ukraine the first falling the US both believed the world should and would move domino paving the way for Russian domination in Eurasia. plenty of division in today’s world. It does. as I understand it. There is still plenty of ists who came to power after 1991 believed that Russia would conflict. But the Cold War. These do represent very different ways of again an adversary of the US. 2012) a book about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ‘eternal Cold War’ Æ 43 . commentators claimed that the ‘Russian Bear’ all sure by contrast that such universalism lies at the heart was back. Attempts by It was this that drove the Cold War and turned it from liberal-centrist media to portray Russia as the main enemy of a traditional great power rivalry into a defining feature of the international community have failed to ignite a new Cold the period between around 1947 and 1991. populists in between two universalist the west now tend to see models: each claimed to Russia as a potential ally represent the future” against other challenges” The Cold War was always much more There have always been those who believed than just a military stand-off or armed that the Cold War did not really end in confrontation between the western and 1991. Ironically. in competition between two fundamen. using every tactic same battles as the Soviet Union. They were inspired by anti-Americanism and a belief that Soviet bloc collapsed. with the victory of the populists in the west now tend to see Russia as a potential ally western model. Piers Ludlow is associate professor at the London School of Economics and joint editor of Visions of the End of the Cold War in Vladislav Zubok is professor of international history at LSE. independent Russia. its society.Piers Ludlow Vladislav Zubok “It was a competition “Ironically.

However. He writes about the al. helped to enable the America-led invasion of Afghanistan. misjudged step taken by one side or American assault on the Soviet Union the other could have resulted in nuclear and communism. America and the Soviet Union competed The Cold War had a major impact on Africa and the in offering a model of the way in which a ‘good society’ African diaspora. replaced he chose friendship with US president George W Bush and by one deemed more suitable – Mobutu Sese Seko. which referred gone. Hakim Adi is a professor of history at the University of Chichester and Robert Service is the author of several major books on Russian history. At several moments. The status quo is maintained by the diktat of the his nose at American presidents. severity in Chechnya he became sharply hostile to the west. At first of what’s now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For four decades. 2017). IMF/World Bank and the African Union’s NEPAD (New At this point. Fingers crossed. Capitalism and individual civil rights activist WEB Du Bois to the deportation from the US of were contrasted with communism and collective welfare. to the Soviet Union and communism or to the empowerment The situation changed when Vladimir Putin succeeded of Africa’s people. and that the people are Russia a less than impressive contender. from the persecution of African-American should be organised. communist Claudia Jones. but a situation of acute danger. while division of the world that ensued. as well as the bipolar armageddon. including The Last of the Tsarss (Macmillan. then. Russian president continuation of Portugal’s colonial rule. 2013) Russian Revolutions on page 30 of this issue 44 . Not yet a Cold War. 1919–19399 (Africa World Press. Although Russia is wedded to the capitalist BRIC countries (Brazil. justified on the dubious basis of the ‘right to Ukraine. Yet Russia and America are some way impact has been ideological. and the recent dip in prices for oil and gas makes otherwise – that change is inevitable. He opposed US policy in the Middle new justifications. major colonial powers demanded that formal political for emulation. a single in Europe. Africa and the Diaspora.. The Cold War created Boris Yeltsin strove for his country to become accepted as not just conditions for the continued intervention of big powers embracing the values of democracy. No longer did it offer itself as a model 1940s. had the Third World War was avoided. the attempt to deny that there is short of being locked in a comprehensive struggle for world any alternative. Libyan independence was ended under Nato East.The Big Question: Cold War Hakim Adi Robert Service “The bipolar division of “The US and Russia are the world no longer exists some way short of being but contention between locked in a struggle for the big powers continues” world supremacy” The Cold War might be said to have The Cold War that lasted from the late commenced with Churchill’s 1946 1940s until the late 1980s is dead and Iron Curtain speech.. there are concerns about the possible renewal UNIVERSITY OF CHICHESTER/ALASTAIR LEVY Partnership for Africa’s Development) but challenged by of a Cold War. their own liberators. He announced the launch of a were removed: such was the fate of Prime Minister Lumumba campaign for a strong state and an orderly society. From the and social pluralism. Perhaps the most damaging to organise a democracy. as well as for Nato’s support for the When the USSR fell apart in 1991. other liberal organisations. and opposed plummeting standard of living for most Russian citizens. In Africa it was used as justification Each superpower strove to bind ‘third world’ countries into for the existence of apartheid and the banning of the ANC and an alliance with it. In Africa a new scramble for geopolitical and economic The boost in world market oil and gas prices gave Putin the advantage means intervention is as rife as ever. Russia. Leaders who didn’t meet such requirements to the presidency in 2000. Through most of the 1990s Yeltsin battled independence could be granted only to ‘responsible’ leaders – with the problems of a severe economic depression and a those who would be responsible to the big powers. it claims to have a better idea than America about how Africa’s long-suffering people. author of Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist Internation. annexed Crimea and militarily intervened elsewhere in bombardment. the Anglo. a profound and lasting global impact. provided with revenues he needed. The bipolar division of the world no longer exists but the but when he failed to secure endorsement of his military contention between the big powers continues in new forms. He modernised Russian armaments and thumbed protect’. economic liberalism in Africa but also justifications for such intervention. India and China) as well as by system. Fortunately history and experience show supremacy. such as to postwar geopolitical developments the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

began to set his novels in Kenya and Panama. What Ronald Reagan had once called the “evil empire” was dead. building bases in the Middle East and arming the old Prussian fortress at Kaliningrad. As the Soviet flag was lowered forever. That master of the Cold War spy plot. the atmosphere has clearly changed again. They stuck together. the main security agency for the Soviet Union from 1954 until its break-up in 1991. More than two decades on. 2016) 45 . Meanwhile. From cyber-attacks to polonium poisoning. Mikhail Gorbachev closed the door on his Kremlin office. John le Carré. Russia once again shows no respect at all for global rules” The Cold War ended finally in December 1991. We have to see that this is not a rerun of some conflict from the recent past. like the old Soviet military. Russia was to face a decade of political and economic Russian president Vladimir Putin orders military drills in March 2014. He remains an advocate of its successor. Paris. Politics is not that simple or predictable. Russia once again shows no respect at all for global rules. we need to recognise exactly what is going on in our own time. but their talk was all about interior design and private schools. from military over-flights to the snatching of Crimea. Kensington and Brooklyn. spies were for fiction and the cinema. It is hard to avoid the terminology of the Cold War. It is the only hope we have of working out what to do next. Catherine Merridale is a historian specialising in Russia and has French troops during a Nato exercise in Germany in 1961. strife. at times relying on the goodwill of shortly after parliament approved the use of Russian troops in Ukraine the IMF. but the leaders and the rich did well. Vladimir Putin was a product of the Cold War KGB. Even the Berlin Wall was soon to disappear. Echoes of the past grow louder all the time. Putin’s generals are moving troops around in massive numbers. ceding power to Boris Yeltsin. for here is yet another confrontation that includes a direct challenge to FRANK MONKS/GETTY IMAGES/TOPFOTO democracy. whose specialities include a range of secret foreign operations (blatant ones are also fine). Her books include Lenin on were deemed necessary to deter a perceived communist threat the Train (Allen Lane. Shorn of its loyal satellites. Catherine Merridale “From military over- flights to the snatching of Crimea. Life was almost impossibly difficult for most citizens. But history is full of examples of doomed generals who could only ever fight the campaigns of their previous wars. A new class of global Russians emerged. Instead. acquiring a taste for luxury and turning up in Cyprus. Nato forces held a series of posts at British universities.

A year in pictures: 1977 46 .

600 stores had been looted. A YEAR IN PICTURES 1977 Conflict and conciliation. The atmosphere in the city was already tense.30 on the night of 13 July 1977. hundreds of fires started and thousands of people arrested. soaring crime rates and fear of the serial killer dubbed the ‘Son of Sam’. And after a series of lightning strikes and technical errors caused a city-wide blackout. By the time power was restored over 25 hours later. widespread looting broke out. soccer and space The 1970s were marked by tensions in the Middle East and the cities of the west. fuelled by economic woes. but also by GETTY IMAGES scientific and architectural firsts and musical and sporting lasts. In this photo. the lights started to go out across New York City – and mayhem ensued. Richard Overy details the key events and personalities of 1977 Æ 47 . New York is looted Just before 9. men survey the wreckage of a shop on Grand Concourse in the Bronx. more than 1.

And on 16 August Elvis Presley. the king of rock and roll. the oil crisis and high inflation. and the radical Marxist Khmer Rouge reached a crescendo of murderous elimination of their enemies in Cambodia. and has since become a fixture on the tourist route. There were technical and cultural milestones to celebrate. In 1977 the far-left militant Red Army Faction. This was also the year when the anti- apartheid activist Steve Biko was murdered in custody by the South African police.A year in pictures: 1977 The 1970s were difficult years around the world. terror campaigns that have become the hallmark of the past four decades. The aggressively modernist Pompidou Centre opened in Paris. democratic future. died – his passing mourned by millions. The legendary Brazilian footballer Pelé played his last competitive game in New York. Spain and Portugal were feeling their way towards a new. The Egyptian president Anwar Al-Sadat met Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin to try to end years of antagonism between the two states. marking a new stage in the scientific revolution of communication. From Lebanon to Ulster. 48 . This problematic age was scarred by conflict in the Middle East. the war in Vietnam. and more. 1977 was a year of persistent and violent crises. The prototype space shuttle took its first test flight. Yet there were some brighter points. crisis in the Horn of Africa. at the peak of their campaign against West German capitalism. too – as well as some to regret. kidnapped and shot the businessman Hanns-Martin Schleyer. After decades of dictatorship.

Less than two weeks later his body was found in the boot of a car in France – his murder marking the climax of the ‘German Autumn’ of terrorist attacks that shook the nation that year. Extremist danger The radical leftwing Red Army Faction took this photo of Hanns-Martin Schleyer on 6 October 1977. Ten months later peace is cemented with the signing of the Camp David Accords brokered by US president Jimmy Carter. Catalan pride Huge crowds throng the streets and squares of Barcelona on 23 October to welcome the homecoming of Catalonian politician Josep Tarradellas.” Handshake of hope Israel’s prime minister Menachem Begin and Egypt’s president Anwar Al-Sadat meet in Jerusalem in November 1977 – a historic encounter marking the start of a peace process following decades of territorial wars between the nations. who in 1977 returned to assume the presidency of the Catalan Generalitat – newly restored government of the autonomous region – with the simple message: “I am back. AKG IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES Æ 49 . 31 days after they kidnapped the West German industrialist.

A year in pictures: 1977 GETTY IMAGES 50 .

Farewell Biko An estimated 15–20. Biko’s murder became a flashpoint in the struggle of black South Africans against oppression by the white regime. as a result of being beaten in police custody. South Africa. He had died on 12 September. but it wasn’t till over a decade later that the apartheid system was finally dismantled. Æ 51 .000 mourners attend the funeral of Black Consciousness leader Stephen Biko on 25 September 1977 in King William’s Town.

winning an unequalled three FIFA World Cups in 1958. Pelé had become a household name around the globe after starring in the spectacularly successful Brazil teams of the 1950s and 1960s.A year in pictures: 1977 Pelé bows out Brazilian football star Pelé (real name Edson Arantes do Nascimento) waves to the crowd before New York Cosmos’s play-off game against Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 1977 – his final year in competitive football. GEORGE TIEDEMANN–SPORTS ILLUSTRATED–GETTY IMAGES 52 . He is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time. 1962 and 1970 and scoring 77 international goals.

continuing for the following 40 years. designed by architects Richard Rogers. GETTY IMAGES/PA IMAGES Aftermath of the cyclone A woman and her children survey the ruins of a building in Kankipadu. floods and landslides destroyed some 100 villages and killed more than 10. It marked the start of decades of instability in the Horn of Africa. The conflict was sparked when Somali troops invaded the disputed Ogaden border region in July 1977. Final preparations at the Pompidou Finishing touches are made to the controversial Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris before its inauguration on 31 January 1977. During the severe storm that lasted nearly a week. following the huge cyclone that devastated swathes of south-east India in November 1977. and named in honour of former French president Georges Pompidou. The cultural complex. and within Somalia. sparked a lively debate about modernist architecture and its place in the heart of old Paris. Andhra Pradesh. and continued until the following March. Æ 53 . with periodic conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Renzo Piano and Gianfranco Franchini.000 people. Desert war Somali women train with wooden guns in an exercise during the Ogaden War between Somalia and Ethiopia.

it’s estimated that it comprised around 8. first emperor of a unified China. who died in 210 BC. excavation of the army began in earnest in 1977 and continues today.A year in pictures: 1977 AKG IMAGES Raising an army Chinese archaeologists at Lintong. excavate one of the most famous finds of the century: the Terracotta Army – life-sized troops guarding the tomb of Qin Shi Huang.000 warriors accompanied by horses and chariots. Discovered by farmers in 1974. east of Xi’an. 54 .

the first space flight of the NASA shuttle programme launched on 12 April 1981. 2015) 55 . despite two fatal accidents. when Columbia orbited the Earth 57 times. Shuttle run The prototype Space Shuttle Enterprise lifts from the Boeing 747 carrier that launched it over southern California on 12 August 1977 – the first free flight of a US space shuttle. aged 42. The programme continued for 30 years. Elvis near the end Elvis Presley performs in Lincoln. the last of 135 missions was flown by Atlantis in July 2011. Nebraska on 20 June 1977 – six days before what was to be his final show in Indianapolis. Richard Overy is professor of history at the University of Exeter. by the time of his last shows Elvis was a pale shadow of his youthful pomp. Following extensive further testing. GETTY IMAGES and editor of The Times Complete History of the World (William Collins. and just a few weeks before his death from cardiovascular disease and respiratory complications on 16 August. Overweight and addicted to prescription drugs.

” argues John Romer THE TRUTH about ANCIENT EGYPT GETTY IMAGES 56 .The pharaoh myth A pharaoh is depicted alongside the tree of life in an ancient relief in the Great Hypostyle Hall of the temple of Karnak near Luxor. “The idea that pharaohs were worshipped as all-powerful gods is just plain silly.

Tyrannical god-kings, feudal divisions, poisonings, treason – many of our
long-held beliefs about ancient Egypt are based on misunderstandings
and skewed interpretations. John Romer, author of a new book exploring
1,000 years of Egyptian history from the construction of the Great Pyramid
to the collapse of the Middle Kingdom, explains why we need to rethink
how we view the world’s first nation state

How have we misunderstood this period of 20th century, so it became an important concept when this
Egyptian history? history was being laid down.
I think virtually all of ancient Egypt has been misunderstood. The problems extend beyond that, too, to ideas of conflict
Fundamentally, our understanding has been based on four inside ancient Egypt between priests, farmers and soldiers –
key influences: the Bible; the ancient Greeks; the work of the three divisions of classical European society. It’s yet to be
19th-century French scholar Jean-François Champollion; established that such a feudal division actually existed in
and then, into the 20th century, German historians. pharaoh-land, and there was no military cult in ancient Egypt
Champollion laid down the terms with which we discuss at all. The whole thing is very wrong, and gave politicians an
ancient Egypt – kings, country, courtiers, nobles, peasants, easy exemplar of society for their own horrid purposes.
priests and soldiers – at a time when Europeans had a very Most histories of the Old Kingdom [in the third millenni-
strong idea about what those terms meant. It was a time of um BC] assume that the ancient Egyptians never changed.
revolution in Europe, when ‘nation’ was a hot topic in France, They took parallels from one period and dumped it back to
but the fact that Champollion and some of his contemporaries another 1,000 years earlier or later. And we know virtually
translated it back to ancient Egypt was barking mad. After all, nothing at all about the personalities of ancient Egyptians.
ancient Egypt wasn’t a place but, instead, a culture – in the The only way we understand their personalities is as seen
same way that tribal peoples don’t have a dotted line around through the eyes of the ancient Greeks, a bunch of old Nazis,
the edge of their land. and a lot of dreadful popular television in which people run
Worse than Champollion were the ‘great geniuses’ that around with blazing torches setting fire to each other.
interpreted the grammar and logic of the Egyptian language.
They were a bunch of what we would call hard-rightwingers: There was a gap in the construction of monuments
not all of them were Nazis, but many were very active in that in the period between the building of the pyramids
movement. They thought history was a science and, therefore, and temples at Thebes (now Luxor), wasn’t there?
pure – but anyone who thinks history writing is a science is There was indeed a remarkable period, a kind of hiatus, during
crazy. Those researchers wrote many of the books still used in which the ancient Egyptians stopped building monuments.
modern western universities, which are full of their prejudices. It’s been described as a time of murder and starvation, but we
know that wasn’t the case because the graveyards of the period
How are those prejudices manifested? show a people who were just as fit and well as at any other time.
The idea that pharaohs were worshipped as all-powerful gods, Graves had actually become richer, because people no longer
for instance, is just plain silly. Translated ancient Egyptian had to build monuments for their king.
letters show us that the relationship between a pharaoh and
his courtiers was very far from that between a god and his So what caused that hiatus?
worshippers. But the idea of an all-powerful god was very Most other histories extract information from largely irrelevant
common at the time that these books were written in the early things, such as bits of literature or poetry, and pretend that Æ

The pharaoh myth

A tomb relief from Egypt’s 5th dynasty depicts the collection of tithes.
“Most other histories extract information from largely irrelevant
they’re history. I don’t: I go for facts on the ground. What those things, such as bits of literature or poetry, and pretend that they
show is that, during the Old Kingdom, around 2,500 BC, are history. I don’t: I go for facts on the ground,” says John Romer
after the four great pyramids had been built, the kings laid
back a bit. All of the resources that had previously gone into
building truly colossal pyramids at Giza and Dahshur were
used instead to build more modest royal pyramids, along
with hundreds of splendid tombs for governors and courtiers
with mortuary cults of their own. So, about 300 years after the
Great Pyramids were finished, not only were pyramids still be-
ing built by the court but it also had centuries of funerary cults
to support. A large number of families were connected to each
of these monuments, so the court had become very big.
At the same time, the level of the Nile was gradually
dropping. It happened so slowly that it wouldn’t have been
noticeable in a single lifespan, but modern archaeology shows
the river level fell by several metres over the course of centuries.
That meant the amount of crops grown also decreased.
Those factors combined and a tipping point was reached:
ancient Egyptian society no longer had the resources to make
such great monuments. That doesn’t mean that people were
starving, or poor, or fighting – simply that they didn’t have This inscribed papyrus, found near the Red Sea and the oldest known
example of its kind, details the building of Khufu’s Great Pyramid
the resources to build huge pyramids.

What happened next?
From around 2150 BC, the kingdom was gradually reborn
– and it really was a renaissance. A group of local governors from
Thebes took control of Egypt; we don’t know how or why, but
they remade the pharaonic state in a new way. It was the most
beautiful period in all of Egyptian history, and the first time
the ancient Egyptians looked back at what they’d done, picked
the elements they wanted, and used them to rebuild the state.
One of the most touching and remarkable things that has
been uncovered during recent research is the tremendous effort
to which the ancient Egyptians went to do this, sending
expeditions across the Sahara and boats down to Ethiopia.
The ‘Khufu ship’
These forays often weren’t ordered for practical purposes, but
found at Giza. Ancient
instead for things wanted for the rituals of the court. That was Egyptians travelled
what the state was essentially all about – ritual and ceremony, across the Levant to
and it shows us the character of ancient Egypt. obtain goods for rituals


“One site provides the How did ancient Egypt influence the wider world?
The entire western world is touched by ancient Egypt. It was
what we would now call a religious state, although they
only example of how wouldn’t have understood that definition. And it continues to
be influential to this day – in the way in which taxes in the
blocks were moved by United Kingdom are collected in the name of the queen, for
instance, or in how, when Donald Trump was elected president
the people who made of the United States, he was honoured with tradition and
ceremony to show that a different aura had descended upon
the Great Pyramid” him. The idea of sacredness in the ceremony of leaders is
essentially what was happening in the Middle Kingdom.

How did these influences continue into later centuries?
Why has there been such a wealth of discoveries about A few years ago I was investigating the Byzantine civilisation,
the periods of the Old and Middle Kingdom recently, and reading about the elaborate rituals with which its emperors
what have we learned? were put on the throne. The ceremonies sounded just like
An important factor is that, in the past 30 years, Egyptologists those of the pharaohs of Egypt, which I thought was weird –
have been able to leave the Nile valley and work in other parts until I realised that the obvious connection was the Bible.
of Egypt where they couldn’t before due to security concerns. What you read there about Moses and the pharaoh, or the
Wonderful sites have been found on or near the Red Sea idea of the court and the sacredness of God, is what connects
coast. One, at Wadi al-Jarf, dates from the time of Khufu, ancient Egypt to the Bible, and then to the modern west.
builder of the Great Pyramid. It may be the oldest port in the Take the coronation ceremony in the UK, for instance:
world, with a harbour and anchors and who knows what else. the new monarch is wrapped in a cloak and anointed with oil.
Before its discovery nobody even knew that ancient Egyptians This is basically what the princes of the Lebanon did to show
of the time had sea-going boats. And when researchers started their fealty to the pharaohs. Indeed, at a dig in Lebanon,
to look into the hills behind the port, they found caves that had researchers found a little cask that had held some oil from the
been excavated for use as chandleries by the ancient Egyptians. pharaohs and a sceptre with which the leaders were invested.
These caves are full of extraordinary things, but even more So the aura of sacredness is the same – although of course, the
amazing is that the ancient Egyptians had sealed the doors with ritual was reinvented in the 19th century to include references
big blocks of stone – similar to those used in the Great Pyramid. to an area of land and a flag, and relabelled ‘patriotism’.
This site provides the only example of how such blocks were
moved to make that pyramid: they were slid along using beams How should your book change people’s views
of wood on slick mud. That is a remarkable thing in itself. of ancient Egyptian culture?
More than that, when the researchers moved two of these I’d like it to act as a bridge between the fascination that people
blocks apart, a great wad of papyrus fell out from between have for ancient Egypt and the rubbish histories of war and
them – nothing less than the oldest inscribed papyrus in poisonings and treason that we read and watch so often
the world, bearing the name of Khufu. It’s perfectly written: today. I’d like to open readers’ eyes to the real stories behind
the guy who wrote it had obviously composed thousands of the beautiful things made by the people of that culture.
such documents. It’s a list of stone deliveries made to the Great People look into the eyes of Tutankhamun’s golden mask,
Pyramid at Giza by a boat captain named Merer, who was for instance, and have this idea of a people cowering under
delivering stone from one side of the Nile to the other. They the lash of wicked pharaohs. I would like those people to
were at the Red Sea because it was part of the same supply have more of an understanding of what ancient Egyptian

system. The port was used to ship copper from Sinai across art actually tells us: that on the whole they were peaceable,
the Red Sea and then on across the desert to the Nile valley. highly talented people who were
Not only does this document give an exact list of how well satisfied with their lot.
many stones this captain supplied, but it also tells us that quite
a famous man, Ankh-haf, whose tomb is at Giza, was in charge
at this harbour. This is amazing because it’s the first time he’s
been identified as being in charge of aspects of the Great John Romer is an Egyptologist, broadcaster
Pyramid’s construction. Suddenly, we know something about and writer. His latest book is A History of Ancient
how it was made that we never knew before. It’s all real stuff Egypt, Volume 2: From the Great Pyramid to the
– not just fairy tales from slightly dubious history books. Fall of the Middle Kingdom (Allen Lane, 2016)


In the “But it may happen that you hate a thing an estimated 500 ships and 100. Ottoman designs on been outgunned and defeated. The clash. losing by Turkish supremacy”. by armed rowing vessels. Ottomans declared war on Venice and seemingly invincible Turks. forgot its divisions and united in gy of dominating the eastern Mediterra- When in the summer of 1570 the celebration of its victory over the nean and north Africa.” and swore to combatants. Jerry Brotton looks at both sides of an encounter that shifted the balance of sea power in the region The battle of Lepanto was one of the aside their differences and combine forces relief and what one commentator. pitting Ottoman naval forces hastily assembled a vast Christian armada a “marvellous and glorious Christian against the ships of the Christian of more than 200 ships. the greatest conflicts in pre-modern in the form of a Holy League. not insurmountable defeat in a wider transform the Mediterranean basin into For a brief moment. When Don John avenge the defeat by rebuilding his fleet battle since ancient times and the learned of the fall of Famagusta on that and intensifying his attacks on Christian last great naval conflict dominated island he headed for Lepanto. The French historian stark contrast to the disunity that charac. and Christian viewpoints… 60 . Holy League in the Gulf of Patras off and 20. Around Fernand Braudel described it as “the end terised their papal. On the morning of 7 October the two victory over an apparently invincible ed by the Ottomans. the fleet set sail to lift which is good for you. where the forces across the Mediterranean basin. it was an act of God – a significant but such as Malta and Cyprus threatened to along with 15. For the Christians – and for subse- quent western historians – defeating the The background to the battle was a Savage combat Ottomans represented the first great region becoming increasingly dominat.000 troops led by Philip II’s Selim II quoted a verse from the Qur’an: western Greece. For the Ottomans north Africa and Christian strongholds some estimates nearly 200 of their ships. described as history.000 sailors victory against the infidels”. TWO VIEWPOINTS Ottomans battle Christians at Lepanto On 7 October 1571. as the smoke of war began to lift. With the accession of Sultan became clear that the Ottomans had part of Christendom and a no less real Selim II in 1566. Spanish and Venetian 4pm. Across On the following pages we explore the invaded Cyprus. Pope Pius V. was the largest such the siege of Cyprus. 40. Christendom and largely successful geopolitical strate- one vast Turkish naval port. That empire was sides engaged each other in an epic navy.000 summer of 1571. In contrast. They Venetian Pietro Buccio. PERSPECTIVES SEVITCEPSREP ONE MOMENT. it of a genuine inferiority complex on the adversaries. Ottoman forces clashed with the Holy League’s fleet in a huge naval battle in the Mediterranean. in hand-to-hand combat as both sides Mediterranean. Philip II of Europe the news was greeted with an 5 context of the battle from both Ottoman Spain and the Venetians agreed to put extraordinary outpouring of delight. boarded each other’s galleys.000 soldiers and sailors. Ottoman fleet of 300 ships lay at anchor. and marked the beginning of engaged in a relentless programme of battle that quickly descended into savage the decline of Muslim influence in the MARY EVANS/MAP: BATTLEFIELD DESIGN expansion across the Mediterranean. involving half-brother Don John of Austria.

A detail from Andrea Vicentino’s expansive c1600 painting of the battle of Lepanto vividly captures the chaotic melee as armoured Holy League soldiers rout Ottoman troops Æ 61 .

as autumn drew in. No one appeared. hours of hand-to-hand combat. believing that the Christian fleet the battle of Lepanto. but fleet in order to save the honour of our more than twice as many guns. part of a larger geopolit. his head was cut off (reputedly cluding Egypt (1517). and the following of the Caliphate. ran low. That was crucial: the Otto. ancy between your losses and ours. ordered his fleet to attack. grows thicker. better known by its Vene. exhaustion and desertion. The corsairs and beyss of the and legal authorities) recruited local coastal provinces asked the Porte [gov. Fearful for 1573. and were joined by Uluç Ali Pasha. summer the Ottomans retook Tunis.Perspectives: Battle of Lepanto. where they believed the Christian navy vailed. Müez- ical strategy that saw them conquer most Bosnian and Greek soldiers deserted the zinzade Ali Pasha was struck by a bullet of the region as well as north Africa. as he siege of Famagusta in Cyprus. powered Ottoman galleys crashed into the ed our fleet. Unsurprisingly. a former janissary (elite war. there is a discrep- de Ali Pasha. and when the Muslims out among the Ottoman commanders. From that point they the beylerbeyy (duke-governor) of Algiers. the campaign. Sultan Selim II that a Christian fleet was Ottoman force was not only unprepared as well as the disastrous leadership of being assembled to break the Ottoman but severely depleted in manpower and Müezzinzade Ali Pasha (which. A missing arm captured Christians – and carrying more aground – perhaps accidentally. The Otto- the multi-confessional. It was destined to happen this way found it most proper and necessary to they discovered to their cost at Lepanto according to God’s will. and of their high a livaa (district) in the Ottoman adminis. Müezzinzade Ali Pasha ignored the “Our courage has not faded away after bul in April 1571. The superior Christian firepower pre- paktos. Ottoman sources were conscripted into the timariott cavalry in Thus the army disintegrated. Sokullu Mehmed Pasha responded: Selim ordered his fleet to sail from Istan. “men succumbed to a hail of bullets” and Ottomans. Grand Vizier The armada sets sail command to engage the enemy. attributed the everybody. Beyss and kadiss (chieftains approached. he ceded from you a land [Cyprus] … [and] gave divergent estimates of the fleet’s size. When the Christian navy was finally Most blamed the unnecessarily long In early 1571 Bosnian spies informed sighted off Lepanto in early October. polyglot empire. Ottoman accounts described how tian name of Lepanto. in. It was destined to happen this way” I n 1499 the Greek port of Naf. trative system. mans believed that the Christians lacked man rout was complete. which meant nothing more by up to 35.000 sailors and soldiers. One chronicler wrote and fell. The Otto. by the summer of 1573 Turkish shipyards religion and state. advice. Ottoman analysis Greek sailors. 1571 THE OTTOMAN EXPERIENCE “A battle can be won or lost.” find and immediately attack the infidels’ that their Christian enemies possessed The defeat was a military setback. a terse imperial decree intention to attack became known by composite bow fired from their galleys dated 28 October 1571. up to 40 others ran than shaving our beard. fell to the lay. and to protect the land Almost immediately dissension broke had rebuilt the fleet. or in cannot be replaced but a shaved beard than 40. was appointed by Selim. the courage to meet them. a deliberate act to escape fighting.” open sea away from the coast. The winter command only Uluç Ali Pasha escaped. was much smaller than it really was. here the ulemaa (religious by experienced archers. As the first thus cut off one of your arms. provisions smoke which covered the sky”. oarsmen and soldiers ernment] for permission to return home. Lepanto became part of the sea. response: “When news about the infidels’ troop numbers and the accuracy of the Selim’s response. After Mediterranean. dismayed Ottoman troops. Algiers (1529) and that the “fleet cruised for a long time on by a Spanish soldier) and displayed to the Tripoli (1551). When asked about the battle by his life if he disobeyed the sultan’s the Venetian ambassador. “the noble fleet was surrounded by a thick effectively controlled the eastern But. They also had defeat to God: “Now a battle can be won scholars) and all the Muslim community arquebuses and the heavier musket – but or lost. submitted their petition to the feet of my Uluç Ali Pasha advised an engagement in which had been seized by Don Jon in throne I found it good and incontestable. return for tax exemptions.000 oarsmen – many of them Christian ships.” muted in their reactions to the battle. An imperi. We rior) as its admiral. You defeat- ranging from 170 to 300 vessels. was the nearest al decree set the religious tone for Selim’s mans relied for victory on vastly superior anyone came to criticising the sultan). Ottoman fleet. appointing Müezzinza. resources. The fleet headed towards Crete. Ottoman chroniclers Shortly after noon on 7 October.” 62 . and many of the Albanian.


Sultan’s decree
A contemporary portrait of the Ottoman sultan Selim II. Before the
battle of Lepanto, the sultan declared that “all the Muslim community
found it most proper and necessary to find and immediately attack the
infidels’ fleet in order to save the honour of our religion and state”

Perspectives: Battle of Lepanto, 1571


“Theyy all became one body,
y one will,
one desire with no heed of death”

n 20 May 1571 Pope Pius V mans. Don John favoured an offensive Finally Don John’s galley rammed
met with representatives campaign while his cautious lieutenants Müezzinzade Ali Pasha’s flagship and,
of Venice and Spain in advised a more defensive approach, grum- after intense fighting, the admiral fell.
Rome. The result was the bling that they were operating “without When Uluç Ali Pasha’s squadron fled,
formation of a Holy any order, nay in utter confusion”. Intel- the battle was at an end, “and with God’s
League – an alliance of Catholic states ligence was also conflicted. One of Don own resolution”, wrote one Venetian, by
aiming to break Ottoman dominance in John’s advisers told him that his own sol- mid-afternoon the enemy had been
the eastern Mediterranean. diers were largely inexperienced, though completely shattered, subdued and
Agreeing the alliance had been a “I do not think the enemy’s men can be conquered, in “the greatest and most
lengthy and tortuous process. Since the very good, or better than ours”. However, famous naval battle which has ever taken
fall of Constantinople in 1453, Christian “as for the number and quality of the place from the time of Caesar Augustus
countries had failed to unite against their ships in the Ottoman fleet, the reports are until now”.
common enemy. Venice was keen to so various that I cannot judge very well if
protect its commercial relations with the it is smaller or greater than ours”. Aftermath of the battle
sultans, the Spanish were eager to protect When the two fleets finally met on the News of the victory quickly spread
their north African interests, and the pa- morning of 7 October, the Holy League across Europe. Festivities, church
pacy was preoccupied with the more im- possessed two decisive advantages. It masses, pamphlets, paintings and poems
mediate threat of Lutheranism. Though outgunned the Ottomans by more than celebrated the event. While the Otto-
the Ottoman invasion of Cyprus proved two to one, and in its vanguard were six mans had ignored the rise of printing,
the need for unity, squabbles continued: great Venetian galleases – floating European presses were able to circulate
the Spanish insisted that the Habsburg fortresses too high to be boarded, news of the victory at a hitherto unimag-
Don John of Austria – “a young man bristling with artillery. As they rowed inable speed and scale.
who desired glory” – must command the towards the Ottoman galleys and opened Nevertheless, Christian reports of the
league’s fleet, and that its main objective fire, “even the Turks began to fear”, Ottomans’ demise after their defeat at
should be Tunis (held by Uluç Ali Pasha reported Don John’s advisor. Their Lepanto were greatly exaggerated, and
since 1569), not Cyprus. opening salvos sank several galleys and the Holy League rapidly disintegrated.
But by cajoling and threatening, the scattered the Ottoman formation. Priests First Pius died in May 1572, then Venice,
pope’s “assertiveness overcame all evoked Christ and urged the Christian eager to re-establish commercial relations
difficulties”, and in July 1571 the papal soldiers “to fight against the enemies of with the Ottomans, signed a peace treaty
fleet set sail for Sicily. There they were his most holy name, and inflamed and in March 1573 acknowledging Selim’s
joined by the rest of the league, amassing moved by these exhortations they all sovereignty over Cyprus. Others also
“208 galleys, 6 galleases [large oared became one body, one will, one desire sought alliances with the Ottomans.
warships] and 23 ships besides the small with no heed nor thought of death”. In 1579 Elizabeth I established formal
vessels carrying a good many troops” Under fire from the galleases “the sea diplomatic relations with Selim’s suc-
estimated at 20,000, a remarkable and was wholly covered with men, yard-arms, cessor, Sultan Murad III. Both English
somewhat unlikely coalition of Italians, oars, casks, barrels and various kinds and Ottoman rulers were keen to exploit
Spaniards and even Germans. of armaments, an incredible thing that divisions among an increasingly fractured
only six galleases should have caused Christendom that found little unity in
Internal squabbles such great destruction, for they had not the aftermath of Lepanto.
National rivalries threatened to scupper [previously] been tried in the forefront of
the league almost before the fleet sailed a naval battle”. Both sides quickly became Jerry Brotton is professor of renaissance
towards Corfu. Fights broke out between “constrained to do battle with short arms studies at Queen Mary University of London,
the Spanish and the Italians, while both in hand-to-hand combat”, all “fighting in and author of This Orient Isle: Elizabethan
looked down on the ‘barbaric’ Ger- the cruellest fashion”, wrote the advisor. England and the Islamic Worldd (Allen Lane, 2016)



In a league of their own
The Holy League fleet gathers at Messina on the east coast of Sicily before
sailing for Lepanto, as imagined in a painting shortly after the battle.
Allegorical figures in the foreground represent the papacy, Spain and Venice,
the three key Christian combatants in“the greatest and most famous naval
battle which has ever taken place from the time of Caesar Augustus until now”


the tribe’s regent. albeit in a register office. cle. Tshekedi Khama. Despite denials by the “I am completely happy here. Ruth and Seretse fell in British government. yet made the Seretse died in 1980.” observed journalist Margaret women and children. in 1953. as well as the Girl Guides. Seretse Khama. and was buried next to which opposed a prominent inter-racial campaign by supporters including Tony Seretse. with a much closer degree of In 1961 Seretse Khama launched the Khama. having been badly neglected under confidential clerk in an insurance firm. the region. saying: “There is a Hear more of this story in the BBC World Service Bourke-White. However.. Britain’s intentions. had an ordinary child. the marriage went In 1956 the exile was ended – on As first lady. the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. remained in Bechuanaland because the colonial rule. hostility from her father and Seretse’s un. Ruth became a Ruth. colonial rule. and by others at home in Bechua. the British protectorate of Bechuanaland minister in 1951. In 1942 she joined In 1950 Seretse was brought under Lady Khama.” nation’s first democratic elections in 1965. Ruth Williams identification of herself with his interests. blocked a church women’s association in Serowe.. A United Kingdom. Never bitter about the past. had tions. Their legacy extends well marriage on their borders. courage from an early age. and the that transformed her life. By then Seretse and Ruth were both My home is here. “Yet in many threw herself into voluntary work helping DISCOVER MORE ways. was released in the UK – ‘mother’ or ‘queen’. soon after- in 1940. Ruth became One evening in 1947 her sister invited Bangwato were (rightly) suspicious of president of the Botswana Red 66 . She gave birth to which assisted with relief programmes in organised by a missionary society. EXTRAORDINARY Y PEOPLE Ruth Williams Khama (1923–2002) FIRST LADY OF BOTSWANA How did an ordinary Englishwoman overcome powerful opposition to help transform an African nation? Susan Williams tells the story of Botswana’s ‘mother’ R aised in a south London companionship with her husband. ing a crash ambulance at RAF Friston. 2006). and suburb. Lady Khama died in 2002 at the South Africa and Southern Rhodesia. Bechuanaland Democratic Party. Once home. Ruth baby Jacqueline in the Serowe hospital. Ian. “We still grieve that our mother a model of harmony that exposed the by the London Missionary Society and is being kept away from us. then one of the world’s 10 poorest na- After the war. beyond the borders of Botswana.” documentary Against The Tide – Seretse theirs. the teenage Ruth undertook hoped – she will never be bought off”. A British official complained that Ruth Botswana gained independence and When the Luftwaffe bombed London was “a tougher proposition than we had Seretse became president. driv. at bbc. but I have no desire to go anywhere else. false pretences to London where he was their focus was the future of Botswana. condition that Seretse was not installed Susan Williams is the author of Colour Bar: Seretse and Ruth settled in Serowe in as king. Ruth had two more based on the book. Most of the white sons. “her life is fuller than big part for me. and intelligent understanding of the Eighteen months after the BDP won the hood but showed unusual broader problems he has to face. To Ruth’s Benn. There she met the treatment of the Khamas as “a very Child to Child Foundation. to play. a law student and heir to disreputable transaction”. told he was to be exiled for five years. Ruth encouraged women to get involved. South Africa – “I travel to Britain and Switzerland as part love – but their relationship was met with whose supplies of uranium Britain hoped of my charity work for the Red Cross. in disappointment British officials.” lamented a evil of apartheid and the injustices of the Church of England. where the Bangwato took aside their differences to work together (Penguin. he and his uncle put The Triumph of Seretse Khama and His Nation Bechuanaland. the was reluctant but went along – a decision Winston Churchill had condemned Botswana Council of Women. as a woman. wards he was knighted and Ruth became fire-watching duties. (now Botswana). wedding. and late in 2016 women in Africa pitied her. where she gave country I became a Motswana. under pressure from white-ruled birth to their second child. When I came to this The British government also weighed living in exile in Britain.” she said. a film Ruth to their hearts as their Mohumagadi for their people. backed naland. by that time pregnant.” in. They were encouraged by a vigorous age of 78. to access – had influenced the decision. but it never the kingship of the Bangwato people in exile permanent after he became prime crossed Ruth’s mind to return to Britain.. her to a dance for students from Africa. twins Tshekedi and Anthony.

“Certain things have happened to all of us in the past. who later became the first president of Botswana.GETTY IMAGES/TOPHAM PICTUREPOINT/ALAMY/DREAMSTIME Mother of the people Ruth Williams’ marriage to Seretse Khama. and it is for us to forget those and look to the future” 67 .” Seretse noted. faced opposition at the highest level. but they shunned rancour and dedicated their lives to the people of Botswana. “Bitterness does not pay.

Soyoung Lee. as well as sharing concepts with China and Japan. reveals what treasures from the exhibition Splendors of Korean Art tell us about the region’s cultural evolution ADDITIONAL RESEARCH PAUL BLOOMFIELD 68 .Korean art GLITTERING KOREA For over four millennia the Korean peninsula has cultivated unique ideas about art and architecture. curator at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

who represents the promise of salvation in his Western Paradise.000 years after Buddhism arrived in Korea via China around AD 372. became especially popular in Korea during the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392). the Goryeo dynasty controlled most of the peninsula. here he is shown flanked by his two attendant bodhisattvas in a triptych created nearly 1. The names of those who commissioned and managed the project were inscribed on the bases of the statues. 1333 The Buddha Amitabha. By the time these pieces were made. ON LOAN FROM THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF KOREA Æ 69 . Gilt bronze Amitabha triad. which were consecrated and their hollow insides filled with textiles and printed Buddhist texts. its name is the root of the international term ‘Korea’.

Goldsmiths’ techniques ranged from simple hammering to the more complex method of granulation.Korean art Bird-shaped earthenware vessel. indeed. these objects probably served as funereal ritual vessels. This exquisite statue is century AD infused with a subtle yet palpable energy Gold earrings were worn by elite articulated in details such as the pliant. particularly in the kingdoms of Gold earrings. found in tombs of that period. near the Nakdong river. two of the three kingdoms that dominated the peninsula from the first century BC (the other being Goguryeo). sixth Baekje and Silla. Pensive Bodhisattva. and are with an orb-and-crescent motif. mid-seventh century AD COURTESY THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART (EARRINGS ON LOAN FROM THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF KOREA) Images of the pensive bodhisattva (devout Buddhist adherent) – always seated in this distinctive pose – became prevalent in east Asia between the fifth and eighth centuries. This was the heartland of the Gaya confederacy wedged between the larger Baekje and Silla states. liquid was poured in through an opening at the back and flowed out through the tail. as in this example. third century AD Clay vessels such as this have been found primarily at burial sites in the south-east Korean peninsula. and emerged as important Buddhist icons in Korea. Birds may have been considered auspicious. the burial mounds of Silla are famous for the extraordinary gold accessories they contained. men and women of the kingdom lifelike fingers and toes. travelling between earth and heaven. indicating the most prevalent type of jewellery influences from central Asia. His crown is topped of Silla (c57 BC–AD 935). Usually found in pairs. 70 . in which tiny gold beads were adhered to the surface to create intricate designs – a technique sometimes mimicked by incising granule-like patterns.

marital bliss and spring. Artificial cracks on the shells create attractive patterns within the larger decorative scheme – an intricate design of peonies. The decoration was not painted but inlaid: the designs were individually carved and filled with white and black water-mixed clays. 15th–16th century This rare lacquer box is inlaid with mother-of-pearl from abalone shells. commissioned by King Sejong in 1443. motifs that appear frequently on Goryeo celadon. Until that date classical Chinese had been the shared written language. adopted from Chinese precedents. happiness. This bottle was once a treasured piece in a Japanese collection. 13th century This is a superb example of Goryeo celadon. the primary material of ornamentation on Korean lacquer from at least the 12th century. carries an eye-catching design of large cranes and clouds. Stationery box decorated with peony scrolls. This quintessentially Korean-style maebyeong (plum bottle). a type of ceramic defined by its elegant green glaze. considered auspicious flowers linked with wealth. The era in which this box was created is also notable for the creation of the native alphabet (today known as Hangeul). cranes were symbols of nobility. Maebyeong decorated with cranes and clouds. fertility. Many aspects of Japanese art and architecture reflect Korean influences. COURTESY THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART Æ 71 . spirituality and long life. produced at the famous celadon kiln site at Buan Yucheon-ri in the south-west of the peninsula.

ON LOAN FROM THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF KOREA including ceramics. was a hallmark of Joseon politics and society. From right to left. lacquerwork and painting. Though symbolic of strength and fierceness. contrasting with that produced in contemporaneous China. were popular during the late Joseon period. moving through various illustrious government appointments and including his 60th wedding anniversary. the animal is often rendered with a humorous. beginning with the protagonist’s first birthday.Korean art Scenes from the cycle of life. both beast and plant are considered auspicious. each panel of this screen shows one celebratory event. 72 . polychromatic decoration was favoured. Each scene is portrayed in lively detail. 19th century Tigers appear frequently in 19th-century Korean art. with a bird’s-eye view affording an expansive perspective on the subject’s life. often high-ranking civil officials. Japan and Europe. 19th century Painted screens illustrating major milestones in the lives of elite men. Jar with tiger decoration. Porcelain painted with cobalt blue pigment was the major type of ceramic in Korea during this period. where porcelain with flamboyant. expressive face. The Joseon kingdom was founded in 1392 with the overthrow of the Goryeo dynasty. The civil bureaucracy. as on this blue-and-white jar on which a single tiger sits tamely against a spare backdrop with a pine tree. adopted from China before the 15th century.

metmuseum. good luck and water. three-peaked hat identify this man as a scholar in informal garb. New York DISCOVER MORE Splendors of Korean Art. This mythical beast. Gilt bronze rafter finial and wind chime. runs until 17 September 2017. among the marks of his nimble hand are the sitter’s sensitively modelled face and the finely rendered hairs of his beard. which functioned as a wind chime suspended from the dragon’s mouth. Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea and the National Museum of Korea. Chae’s works incorporate the conventions of centuries-old ancestral portraiture and modern photography. which lasted till the end of the Second World War. which originated in China. Portrait of a scholar by Chae Yongsin (1850–1941). such as heightened realism and a studio-set background including a painted folding screen. presented in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture. The artist. COURTESY THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART Soyoung Lee is curator for Korean art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. flaring nostrils and elaborate scales convey the fierceness of this creature linked with power. Both bell and dragon were cast in bronze and gilded. The bell. By the time this portrait was painted Korea was under Japanese colonial rule. 10th century This impressive dragon’s head would have been attached to a corner rafter of a royal hall or a Buddhist temple splendors-of-korean-art 73 . is decorated with a lotus flower encircling a swastika – an ancient Indian symbol that was associated with the Buddha. dated by inscription to 1924 The black-trimmed robe and double-tiered. Bulging eyes. Chae Yongsin. was a famed portraitist of the late 19th and early 20th century. also became popular in the art and architecture of Korea and Japan. +1 212 535 7710.

Raymond’s desertion at the battle of Hattin in 1187 played a key role in the crusaders’ defeat and the end of the first kingdom of Jerusalem BRIDGEMAN 74 .A kingdom falls Muslim forces clash with crusaders in a miniature from a 14th-century French manuscript.

a crusader army confronted Saladin in a decisive battle for the Holy Land – but was crushed when one power-hungry count fled the clash. whose treacherous desertion cost the kingdom of Jerusalem Æ 75 . DESERTER & TRAITOR In 1187. Jeffrey Lee explores the life and legacy of Raymond III of Tripoli. RAYMOND of TRIPOLI CRUSADER.

After Raymond deserted the battle at the Horns of Hattin. The traditional by marrying Lady Eschiva of Tiberias. Jerusalem was saved only too. but he proved a weak and selfish leader. Beset from all sides by arrows and the INSTEAD. He enhanced his status some knight from Poitou. cousin. friends and enemies alike thought him Raymond stymied a joint offensive against Saladin’s Egypt by a shrewd and accomplished leader. Knights and infantry were annihilated. and Raymond became regent. the holy city of Jerusalem surrendered to the jihad. Guy de Lusignan. in the very heart of the kingdom. hemming in the crusader lands. At this crucial moment. rebellion and treachery. Raymond could have chosen to fight and prove his loyalty to the Christian cause. he and his faction turned and fled. Raymond FIGHT AND PROVE could see that the great army of the kingdom of Jerusalem (the crusader HIS LOYALTY… state established after the First Crusade) was crumbling. HE TURNED AND FLED swirling attacks of Saladin’s cavalry. he showed he had broadened his ambitions. He still owed most of Many other factors contributed to this catastrophic reversal his exorbitant ransom. with Byzantium and snuffed out the last real chance to crush a coastal crusader state spanning what’s now northern Lebanon Saladin’s growing power. Almost immediately. and the emer. The barons of the kingdom worked loyally with Raymond. then swept through Galilee and Lord of Tiberias – the greatest feudal magnate in the kingdom of Jerusalem. inquiring mind. taking cities and strongholds at will. Instead. he began interfering in the kingdom when Reynald de Châtillon’s generalship. and when the up-and-coming Muslim for the crusaders – their endemic shortage of fighting men. leader Saladin cleverly forgave the debt. was to prove too small a pond. Count Raymond III RAYMOND COULD of Tripoli took a fateful decision. Later that year. State affairs were under Raymond’s first attempt to supplant Baldwin came in 1180. crusader resolve was waver- ing. 13-year-old King Baldwin IV. This soured relations family in Jerusalem. to the throne by marrying him to the king’s sister Sybilla. entire kingdom to Saladin. suffer- ing from heat and thirst. single most damaging factor for the kingdom of Jerusalem in Raymond’s next round of machinations almost delivered the the decade leading up to 1187 was Raymond’s lust for power. and western Syria. the control of the powerful noble Miles de Plancy. but that It appears he planned to make his ally Baldwin of Ibelin heir did not deter him. Saladin. Renowned for his intelligence and de Châtillon. The possibly assassinated as the result of a feud with a noble king neutered the conspiracy by marrying Sybilla to a hand- family. and became Count of Tripoli after when he was too ill to rule. Around him an apocalyptic battle HAVE CHOSEN TO raged. He was dark-complex. the king turned instead to the loyal Reynald ioned. Ransomed for the huge sum The Muslims pillaged across the coastal plain to Mont Gisard of 80. a free hand to unite his power base of Egypt with Syria. Raymond and his ally Bohemond of Antioch then went In 1164 Raymond was taken prisoner by Turkish warlord campaigning in their own territories to the north. the brave young leper king. Raymond allowed him the superior wealth and manpower of their Muslim enemies. and the inspiration of of Jerusalem. for a man so fiendishly ambitious. Given Raymond’s poor record assassins murdered his father in 1152. learning to read and write. the Muslim leader. the king captured. During nine years in captivity he broadened his Saladin to attack across the unprotected southern frontier. He was related to the ruling Baldwin and the Byzantine imperial fleet. In October. with a hooked nose. Miles was murdered in that same year. 88 years after its capture during the First Crusade. From his position as com- mander of the vanguard. but the youthful king suffered Fiendish ambition from leprosy and periodically needed someone to take charge Raymond was born in 1140. delivered a stunning victory against In 1174 he demanded to be made regent to his distant overwhelming odds. Raymond’s regency ended when Baldwin came of age in 1177. mind. Tripoli.The traitorous crusader A round nine o’clock in the morning on 4 July 1187. the kingdom.000 dinars. after years of scheming. still smarting from his demotion. Even staunch partisans of Ray- gence of the ambitious Saladin as a leader in Egypt – but the mond criticised this short-sighted deal. allowing Nur al-Din. as regent. becoming Prince of crusading story tells that Guy was resented as a poor leader and 76 . the loss of Byzantine support in the early 1180s. bordering his county of Tripoli to the south. the Muslim forces inflicted the greatest defeat ever suffered by a crusader army.

who finally reconquered Palestine from the crusaders after the battle of Hattin in 1187. depicted in a 14th-century manuscript CRUSADER STATES AROUND 1187 BRIDGEMAN/BIBLIOTHÈQUE NATIONALE DE FRANCE Guy de Lusignan. sultan of Egypt and Syria. shown being crowned. from Muslim rule. inherited the throne of Jerusalem – dashing Raymond’s hopes in the process Æ 77 . In 1099 the crusaders achieved that goal. Over the following decades a series of crusader states were established across the eastern Mediterranean. and particularly the sacred city of Jerusalem. was a campaign by Christian forces from Europe to wrest what they considered the Holy Land. launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II. but came under attack from surrounding Islamic sultanates – most notably by Saladin (Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub). BATTLE OF HATTIN IN CONTEXT The First Crusade. Dissent among the crusaders in the months leading up to Hattin ensured Saladin was victorious in the battle. capturing the city in July.

who had ambitions on the kingdom of Jerusalem. the young King Baldwin IV.The traitorous crusader Regent to the king Raymond of Tripoli. Raymond benefited from the assassination of the noble Miles de Plancy who had been in charge of state affairs BIBLIOTHÈQUE NATIONALE DE FRANCE 78 . is appointed regent to his distant cousin.

in 1186. the liberation of Jerusalem. bly. While Saladin’s soldiers sacked and burned. enabling the crusaders’ most dangerous enemy to barely papered over the cracks in the crusader leadership. Hunger for power He “solicited and easily obtained the assistance of Saladin. untroubled by Frankish interference. the stronghold of his Ibelin allies. The barons. Things soon got even better for the Muslims. but Baldwin ENDEAVOURING turned him back at the border with Tripoli. Second. the boy-king Baldwin V was to be protected ing party through Galilee. With another Muslim invasion looming. prominent crusader was “the accursed count. But the sup.” Raymond’s allegiance and. BY FOMENTING DISCORD AMONG Raymond’s nefarious influence was back at work the follow- ing year when Saladin attacked again. Raymond was not with the royal host when. Raymond’s vassals were en- Templars and Hospitallers.” gether by crowning a co-ruler: five-year-old Baldwin V. But it was frustrated ambition. He allowed Saladin to send a powerful raid- conditions. all royal castles were to be put beyond the re. paralysed the army. funded by a dubious innovation – an income tax – was led by the new regent. was endeavouring to undermine the Christian power by craftily Ibn Jubayr. though. He is the throne. Ibn Al-Athir confirmed that Saladin accepted qualified to be king and indeed is a candidate for the office.bumptious newcomer. Raymond’s aim was simple: to seize and Tiberias. Not satisfied with dividing the kingdom.” again to Raymond as regent. but it also ries. recorded that the most comed Muslim cavalry and archers into Tiberias. but it with Saladin. perniciously passive foreign policy. Saladin invaded the TO UNDERMINE kingdom with a vast force but was obliged to withdraw after a sharp encounter at Le Forbelet. Raymond’s treachery ed to Tiberias in flagrant rebellion. Ray- mond and his cronies arranged for the crusaders’ campaign to fizzle out in an embarrassing fiasco of inactivity. In hindsight. In 1182 Raymond threatened an armed coup. The king was too sick to THE PARTIES ride so the largest crusader army for years. He has authority and position among them. the lord of Tripoli In siding with Saladin. Sybilla and her husband Guy instead. with Raymond CHRISTIAN POWER absent. the crusader army acted decisively. As regent. Raymond moved to seize power. the kingdom had just gent’s control. if swept across the Jordan with force large enough to surround you believe William of Newburgh. that Raymond was trying to undermine Guy – as he had in porters of the royal house. and retreat. the results were positive – Saladin retired without significant gains – but Guy had failed to exploit a mighty host. Baldwin V died (poisoned by Raymond. a Muslim traveller from Andalucia who passed fomenting discord among the parties”. convoking a coun. the 12th-century English much of the Sea of Galilee. in return: “He guaranteed that he By early 1185 Baldwin IV was clearly dying. Raymond even wel- through the crusader lands in 1184. later that year. “This was one of the most important reputation was ruined. SALADIN WAS mond’s loathing of Guy. Ray- complete his subjugation of all neighbouring Muslim territo. mond’s presence added a strong military contingent. so distrusted Raymond III’s treason had devastating military consequenc- Raymond and his regal ambitions that they imposed stringent es for the crusaders. Raymond defected to the enemy. First. but his real mis- disrupted and their cohesion broken. and he turned would make him independent leader of all the Franks. As Saladin Then. plausi- cil in Nablus. crowned 1183 – by ensuring another wasted campaign. He made a four-year truce A grudging reconciliation was arranged with Guy. “Thus was their unity base at Sephora and take the fight to Saladin. and his historian Ibn Al-Athir. Joscelin.” wrote the great Muslim take might have been listening to Raymond and waiting too long Æ 79 . confronted only by a scratch squad- from Raymond by placing him in the care of his great-uncle ron of Templar and Hospitaller knights who were massacred. that lay behind Ray. and pressured him to renounce his alliance with Saladin. introduced his trademark dithering and dissension. Raymond refused allegiance to the new king. without discord and prevarication. Decisively outmanoeu- vred. who By now Raymond’s hunger for power was common knowledge. Baldwin relieved Guy of the regency and factors that brought about the conquest of their territories and in November 1183 sought to cut him out of the succession alto. led by Reynald de Châtillon. Tellingly. Raymond’s arguments for restraint historian). The crusaders’ foes watched Historians still believe Guy was wrong to leave his well-watered this political meltdown with glee. Raymond resumed his raged. instead entrusted to the military orders of the lost one-tenth of its elite soldiery. rather than incompetence or outsider status. Guy de Lusignan. His more bellicose rivals protested.

Not long into the fight. both armies Astonishingly. as he had agreed with Sala. so man whose dealings with Saladin represented a rapprochement he fled at the beginning of the engagement before it grew fierce. Recent scholarship has gone Most sources say that Raymond and his knights charged at some way to re-balancing this view. RAYMOND IS NORMALLY PERCEIVED AS A CRUSADER HERO After the battle of Hattin. The crusaders delayed until Saladin stormed al-Athir wrote that: “When the count fled. the premacy over the last dregs of the crusader polity. some believed. Raymond “intended his way to Tyre to “corrupt the populace and seize the citadel”. If the Christians had pressed home the attack. to Michael the Syrian. According to William of Newburgh.” Another source Raymond’s reputation describes how.Montferrat. the only city in the kingdom to resist horses in this confined space trampled down the Christians and Saladin’s armies was Tyre. performed his destructive disappearing act. row place by fleeing over their own men. after Raymond’s troops night of 3 July. to betray his people. It was rumoured that he did this in order of God’s Wolf: The Life of the leaving some of his men behind “whom the zeal- to break up our formation and that he had Most Notorious of All Crusaders. The Old French Con- was Raymond’s suggestion to camp halfway to Tiberias on the tinuation of William of Tyree agrees that. His divisive quest for power is of five crusader knights. over the Turks. as manifest agreed to abandon his own people. while the Turks (as it is said) took no care to follow them. adding that: “The king accepted this advice. they were followers of interpreted as a worthy struggle against villainous warmongers Raymond of Tripoli. led by the defiant Conrad of made a kind of bridge… In this manner they got out of that nar. while Books. Significantly.Ernoul. tercee and noness [9am and 3pm] he won the entire field. Thus it was that they escaped with only their lives. His aim was to oust Conrad. but. Tripoli was not besieged – thanks. into those whom he should have assisted. was the decisive moment. their spirits collapsed Tiberias and forced Guy’s hand. no man strength. 2016) Raymond died soon afterwards – of grief and arousing the enemy’s courage. despite all the evidence. rather than a principal cause of it.” they would have defeated the Turks. his new rival for su- BIBLIOTHÈQUE NATIONALE DE FRANCE din… right at the moment of engagement. 80 . Even his flight from Hattin is rejoined in deadly earnest. but left. Even as the crusader enterprise the cross. Raymond failed in his bid to seize the castle and was forced to flee before attacking. and they were near to surrendering.The traitorous crusader DESPITE THE EVIDENCE. in their desperation to escape. To many. Between the hours of it was bad advice. Count Raymond had This desertion of perhaps 300 knights. Saladin chose the battlefield. Christian defenders at Tyre held out against Saladin’s army. the count persisted in his pursuit of power. aforesaid Count of Tripoli fell back and feigned Jeffrey Lee is the author Conrad foiled the attempt and Raymond fled. “He saw that the Seduced by the pro-Raymond chroniclers. to strike fear Reynald de Châtillonn (Atlantic traitors to the name of Christ”. “The speed of their After the battle of Hattin. The chronicler of the Estoire d’Eracless wrote that it were like unto men who had lost all hope”. battle was such as Reynald de Châtillon. “after the departure of the Count the Franks say the least. Early next morning. Accord. “Saladin vanquished them quickly.” between Christian and Muslims. Raymond secretly made ing to the Chronicle of the Third Crusade. Historian Ibn (Simon & Schuster.” That night. 4 July. Raymond seen as a result of the defeat.” disintegrated.” According to the chronicler Raymond’s role in the ensuing battle of Hattin is murky. a The Crusades: The War for the ardently wished to rule the crusaders. ous marquis condemned to be hanged. 2010) had done more to bring about their defeat. as depicted in this 15th-century miniature. 20th-century historians feted the count as a wise states- tion of aiding his fellows stopped him thinking about himself. through. but not far enough – nor has the Muslims. and over to Raymond’s pact with Saladin. Raymond is normal- were exhausted but Muslim morale was boosted by the defection ly perceived as a crusader hero.” DISCOVER MORE shame. who simply opened their ranks and allowed them it penetrated the general consciousness. He “fled from the battle with his accomplices. William of Tyre and signs of defeat were already upon his co-religionists and no no. chroniclers wrote. flight. Raymond’s desertion was rank treachery. in con- quarter of the crusaders’ most potent fighting Holy Landd by Thomas Asbridge trast with common depictions of his life.

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films and more THE CONVERSATION Pankaj Mishra & Tom Holland “One thing that the present shares with the late 18th century is a distrust of elites” Pankaj Mishra talks about his new book.Culture Books. exhibitions. with historian and broadcaster Tom Holland 82 PORTRAITS BY HELEN ATKINSON . Age of Anger.

” says Mishra Æ 83 . we have to go back to the first people who felt excluded from modernity. “To understand the experiences of Indians or Russians today.Tom Holland and Pankaj Mishra discuss the rise of 21st-century enmities.

I quickly realised that Against the West and the Remaking of Asia (Allen Lane. That’s when I began to think that we had entered – or What is emblematic about them and their rivalry? perhaps that we had always been living in – an age of anger. In what tion. on – but your book is a study of the past 200 years. which were institutionalised in the ideals of Tom Holland: When did the ‘age of anger’ start? the French Revolution. the will of the people were going to be overturned. That was the genesis of the book. start with the figures who first formulated the ideas and the and presents the BBC Radio 4 series Making History. These are ideas associated with what we’d now call the Enlightenment. Mishra graduated with an These phenomena are manifested differently. His first book. and that we were in for a pretty the world – including in the heart of the west itself. which was shortlisted for several major interna. history so much in terms of class conflict. increases in immigration and so changes wrought in India by the process of globalisa. I had Tracing their roots back to the Enlightenment of the a sense that – as has subsequently been the case with the result 18th century. but one aspect common to them all is anger: University in New Delhi. technologies and ideologies first emerged in western Pankaj met the author and broadcaster Tom Holland Europe and then spread to practically every corner of the globe. two key figures: Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. it began in 2014 with the to ‘catch up’ with the ideals and systems of western Europe – election of Narendra Modi as prime minister of India: a process now manifest almost universally. but one aspect common to them is a sense of anger” In his new book. We think about modern in which all kinds of irrational events began to erupt. a man accused of mass murder becoming leader of the largest democracy in the world [see ‘Modi and the BJP’ You structure your analysis of the Enlightenment around box on opposite page]. though you now live in Britain. east versus west. and have MA in English literature from Jawaharlal Nehru very local causes. You’re Indian yourself. Pankaj Mishra explores the historical forces behind What links do you see between Modi’s India and Britain? the 21st-century rise in populist nationalist politics Modi’s election was the first sign that things were going wrong and disillusionment with ‘western’ culture around with politics and economies. Many different countries then attempted Pankaj Mishra: In a way. There may be causes specific to the past decade – combines travelogue with an exploration of the social economic turbulence. Age of Anger: A History of the Present. Watching him emerge out of disgrace. So I 2012). 1995). During the 1990s he contribut. one has to go back to the late 18th century and as diverse as the ancient world and global Islam. went back to the beginning of the modern world. I would have to consider a much longer span of history. a sense of frustration and resentment evident in practically ed literary essays and reviews to publications including every political culture in the world today. Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in Small Town India (Penguin. Born in northern India. ideals that we cherish today – even if they are very problematic ideals. 84 . including From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt As I started to read and think about it. when its value tional literary prizes. difficult time. If one was to pinpoint a particular moment when the modern Holland has written extensively on historical subjects world began. systems.CULTURE The Conversation “Phenomena such as Trump or Brexit have local causes. This concern with the impact of global forces on way do you see the current ‘age of anger’ as having its peoples around the world animates much of Mishra’s roots in something much older? work. he argues that we need to look deeper of the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump into history to fully understand a diverse set of – so many of our certainties and ideas about democracy and present-day global crises. to discuss the major arguments of his new book. The India Magazine.

” says Pankaj Mishra imperialism and racism – but one thing the present shares with invented the idea that ‘we. there is a well-educated minority of people who are imposing The birth of the modern world was marked by exhortations their value systems on us. meaningful than we often assume. living our The difference between Rousseau and Voltaire is that simple lives. When you come from somewhere such as angry people might now describe as Democratic Alliance India – and I experienced this with my previous the ‘metropolitan elite’? coalition government. and who want us all to follow to change and urbanise. prime minister of India. the people’ are being victimised the late 18th century is a distrust of elites. classically modern: his belief in commerce. once upon a time. anti-Muslim violence that flared across Gujarat And it’s the Germans. the Russians or the Indians or the Chinese minister for Gujarat state. essentially. died in who really developed ideas of nationalism GETTY IMAGES believe mattered instead? a train fire alleged to be a that would also be fed into the mix. quite rightly. (around 80% of India’s What I was trying to say here. was elected a ‘west’ by which Germans felt humiliated. Narendra Modi. “Well. Enlightenment philosophers. is that there was. which leads Yes – and this was a really important point for that Voltaire is the prototype for what India’s ruling National me. in the wake of their So Rousseau was kicking back against after 59 people. being religious in a kind of naive way. by invoking We now think of a lot of his attitudes as population is Hindu). MODI & THE BJP: non-European civilisations. as forcing people to be something Voltaire as being the embodiment of this particular kind that they could not properly be. There’s an idea that by this metropolitan elite. many of the themes with which we are still struggling today. who challenged the as being unsettling for people in Catholic church. and what Rousseau was saying was: their prescriptions for society. initiated a victims is very important. saw seeing it as very disruptive. Absolutely. He. It’s not surprising that he’s an iconic prime minister in May So if you want to understand the experiences of 2014. in a way. mostly humiliation at the hands of Napoleon. He summed up very early on of arrogant reason. Are you saying Party (BJP). what about us – the people? Here we are. Narendra Modi. but you But you cast him as sycophantic towards A BRIEF HISTORY describe the German reaction to despots such as Frederick the Great The Bharatiya Janata Napoleon’s invasion as “the first jihad”. Germany. and formed in 1980 with that kind of confidence and serenity. trade. I felt that the conflict between Modi has been accused of today. for instance. someone who challenged you coming in and forcing this process of change upon us?” the prescriptions that were being handed down by the Rousseau was very much opposed to the idea of change. who was the outsider. gives a speech in 2016. let’s go back to the first people who felt Rousseau and Voltaire was much more complicity in widespread excluded from modernity. He was people start thinking of this whole question in policies informed by hostile towards tradition. He practically by a Muslim mob. leader a ‘west’ from which Germany was excluded. and thought that Hindu nationalism terms of east versus west. or with Asia. “Modi’s election is the point at which I began to think we had entered – or perhaps had always been living in – an age of anger. books – whatever you say is identified too He’s certainly one of the first embodiments of is a rightwing party complacently with ‘the east’. enlightened superiority – but what did he Hindu pilgrims. religion was a huge source of oppression. Napoleon. and Catherine the Great. result of arson committed His invocation of ‘the people’ as. process – of a kind of mimetic politics – of Æ 85 . Formerly chief figure for modernity and the modern world. In that sense. Normally Voltaire is cast as a gadfly who We tend to think of this form of modernity took on the elites. and his own enrichment through of the BJP. Why are the former was an outsider in Paris.

The experiences of the Germans at the hands of Napoleon led to ideas of nationalism that remain potent today.CULTURE The Conversation A contemporary etching showing the triumphal entry of French forces into Berlin during the Napoleonic wars. Mishra suggests AKG IMAGES 86 .

Presumably. It can also take a much more modern world. or refer to a particular past and some of their best writers and thinkers dealt in the and religion that entitles them to a very distinctive identity? language of hatred. always leads to a reaction At the same time. It’s a process that inflicts psychic find mosques and Muslim rulers. a largely peasant country trying to become modern. outside of the power elite and disconnected from the peasant masses by virtue of education. becoming more like the west with which countries in Asia and wherever they travelled in a large swathe of territory. at least what we might call the modern west. Do you think. a pressure actually quite close to their pasts. to conform to a different mode of life. there is a response to the pressures Absolutely – and it was at least partly a response to the of modernity that generates terror as a kind of escape? assertion that the past is of no consequence. Russia was nation state with a strong military and a sense of patriotism. of course. they’d Africa are still struggling. despite the differences it felt. as in 19th-century Germany. towards the people who are your models. In the German-speaking provinces. So you can never quite escape this of modern forms of imperialism was even more humiliating. finding various agents of teacher for the rest of humanity. then. people were pressure to be something other than what you are. and you can see. those pasts – which in a way was the beginning of modern It can take many different forms: people declaring holy nationalism. That and everyone – even those opposing Napoleon – wanted to be unleashes the particular pathology of the educated young man. Practically everyone wants to be seen as a insidious form: that of self-hatred. the implication of all of process – that it blazed a course for other civilisations. particularly in light of what we’ve been We have seen this pattern – of educated young men turning to saying about Modi. the experience want to be more like. Russia is a nation that did not become an organic part of And. and it became now call jihad – a war for freedom. for instance. What’s crucial. They worked up the most vicious forms of hatred. You cast it as the Russia shared its religion – Christianity – in common with paradigm of a society that has confronted this turbulent ‘western’ powers. most prominently in Muslim countries. So it’s important to understand – though Æ 87 . is the German. like him and to adopt his methods. came You can see this manifested in the unresolved identity of up with the most vicious response to French imperialism and Russia’s people today: do they belong to Asia or Europe? Do Napoleon. German poets Africa. The French invented the This also manifests itself in political terms. For those people. that every people thinks they are the chosen ones. In non-Christian civilisations. but essentially the be outgrown. who share so much with their neighbours. Germans. who becomes a revolutionary. Romantic idea that the radical causes – in one country after another in Asia and key to being authentic lies in the deep past. a way it was an early example of the tormented process of Muslims in the 19th century were aware of the fact that. and philosophers looked back past the Enlightenment to the primal origins of the Germans. or engaging in what we from some sort of fraudulent claim of that kind. as we see with the Chechens a great existential necessity for people who came late to the in mid-19th century Russia. Practically every nationality in the world emerged war. cosmopolitans – and unloading your hatred on them. in almost modernity around you – whether Jewish people or rootless comic terms. oscillation between self-hatred and a hatred projected towards Something I really wanted to point out was that even the the west. and saw themselves as part injuries: you start to essentially dislike the people that you of the larger cultural world. this is that psychic tensions are much greater in I think that Russia is hugely important in that respect. they started inventing genealogies for and a backlash. they want to be more like the west. or something to There are obviously many factors at work.“We have seen the pattern of educated young men turning to radical causes in one country after another” which we still haven’t seen the end.

” says Mishra not condone – some of the pathological reactions that emerge ridiculous. The processes are more or less simultaneous: the loss of What we’ve been seeing is a kind of pushback to that. and the of the external pressures caused by changes of lifestyle. having said that. because it’s a way of understanding the strands of my own identity. “This history feels very intimate. Yet. To have had a kind of cultural colonial- though to talk about it in monolithic terms is. in some cases. non-western parts of the world because absorbed into European colonial empires. cultural influences brought by western dominance? language and politics. Germany might have been a very different place. ism at work all that time is bound to have had an impact. been between the western world and the Muslim world – even occupied for decades. How has the Muslim world experienced being from non-Christian. if it had been occupied for more than a few years.CULTURE The Conversation Mishra and Holland met in London in late 2016. confidence. there is obviously a cultural division Countries in the Muslim world have. of course. for instance. which political sovereignty is accompanied by a loss of intellectual cannot be neatly mapped along east–west lines. 88 .

you’re saying that the past year or so. My argument is that. India enough the way in which Eurocentri. of recognising the Fall of the House of Caesar on the February edition of the World Histories tensions and contradictions within my (Little. fundamentalism. for non-western civilisations. In many respects of BBC Radio 4’s Making tricism is changing profoundly. What we are witnessing today is actually. we’ve not been Eurocentric ABOUT THE AUTHORS the turbulence and turmoil that we enough – that we have not explored used to locate in Iran or Iraq. erupting within the heart cism has pervaded practically every Pankaj Mishra is an of the modern west. One reason why so many There’s a sense that Modi represents a kickback against nationalisms and religious fundamentalisms are so violent what the British and previous Islamic rulers brought – today is because there’s an awareness that the project is an attempt to revert to a primal form of Hindu civilisa- hopeless. then. this history feels very intimate. it is also what Brexit is about. that offensive. pankajmishra. irony is that. a fantasy of a of the Present (Allen Lane. Essentially. but also a study of is a critically acclaimed we need to be more Eurocentric – while tensions that exist within you? historian and presenter recognising what we mean by Eurocen- That’s very insightful. I’d argue that the past 200 years. this book is we’ve seen those fantasies emerge personal for you – not just a study of Tom Holland volcanically in Europe. There has been too big a break in the way in which Æ 89 . imagine ourselves as becoming. historian and making essentially fundamentalist years. is Age of Anger: A History country: essentially. or Egypt. the very heart of the west. His books include PODCAST it’s a way of understanding the strands Dynasty: The Rise and Listen to Pankaj Mishra and Tom Holland of my own identity. less modern. secularism versus I don’t find the charge of Eurocentricism religion. is destroy a lot of our old categories it’s almost impossible for people to escape western of thought and familiar oppositions: liberalism versus European influences. the own being. What that process has done. including my parents: it both made them It’s a total fantasy. Perhaps the processes unleashed by the west in other civilisations are now unleashing similar processes in A charge that might be levelled against you – ironically. in a sense. see well-defined culture and to which yourself as a “stepchild of the west”. and worked ambition to return to a pre-modern form is hopeless? upon people I love. but the surrounding us is his creation – is gone. So I’d say: thank you – I’d author. For more. sovereign people who have their own At the start of the book you describe 2017). for instance. This history has made me who I am. because History. Brown. more Muslim or more Hindu. Too much has changed for us to plausibly a bit lost and gave them chances that their parents did not have. in Eurocentric perspective. We are all irredeema. Islam versus modernity. Now that Presumably. We’ve seen people religion and ideology in the past 200 outsiders can never belong. That desire to cast off foreign influences and claim we think about the world: the sense that our horizons are back indigenous control is a response to western defined in terms of a presence of a God – and that everything supremacy that we see a lot across the world. because you’re from India – is that yours is a very That’s absolutely true.“The turmoil that we used to locate in Iran or India is now erupting within the heart of the modern west” Does this mean that. His latest book claims of needing to ‘take back’ their actually like to be more Eurocentric. bly secularised. 2015) podcast: historyextra. no matter how hard we try to be religious.

CULTURE E Book Reviews Book Reviews Charting the horrors Roger Moorhouse praises an admirable attempt to chronicle the cruelties and complexities of the Holocaust in a single. sinister few. Accuracy is important SS man upon his arrival at Birkenau just for its own sake.” testimony that is known primarily for his stewardship The perpetrators are also represented. for instance. of course. for Blatt. Rees traces the progress Surprisingly. for instance. “and nothing happened. the gas chambers”. is punctuated from Laurence Rees – is very welcome. As well Blatt looked up at the sky in incompre- hension: “Three thousand people died. survivors and perpetrators.” with eyewitness as his acclaimed volumes on Auschwitz and Second World War diplomacy. mentioning the six million killed “in We read. he he recalled. reliable. accessible volume The Holocaust Those accounts provide the leaven by Laurence Rees and the novelty to his account. of Israel Abelesz. His account is confusion. one need only read punctuated throughout with eyewitness the work of journalists who habitually testimony that is moving and terrifying preface every story on the topic by in equal measure. tried to kill three equal measure 90 . Rees is well suited to his task.000 Dutch Jews in one night. for sport. 512 pages. perhaps. After the murder of 3. mothers or. The stars are in the same place. of the sadistic in which capacity he has amassed an SS guards who tortured their victims terrifying in enviable archive of interview material by shooting children in front of their with veterans. single-volume history – such as this camp in occupied Poland. For proof. who that only around half of that total were was wished a happy birthday by a smiling actually gassed. is moving and of the BBC’s history programming. So. who was forced to sort through the belongings of the dead at Sobibór death Rees’s account that reason at least. but in this as his mother and younger brother were case it is all the more critical because the sent to their deaths. seemingly unaware a 14-year-old Hungarian Jewish boy. £25 In a briskly written. engaging narrative. Rees tells us. Or of Thomas ‘Toivi’ Holocaust’s very existence is persistently denied by a bovine. Penguin. an accessible. of the Holocaust from the biological the Holocaust is still racism that permeated the smoke-filled a subject wreathed in beer halls of the city of Munich to its misconceptions and murderous denouement.

it of the twists and turns of Nazi policy that a deliberate programme orchestrated contains a wealth of new eyewitness led to the Holocaust. of course. also aspect has escaped scrutiny somewhat. from above – from Adolf Hitler – and organic process driven more by gradual initiatives from below. Holocaust that is both accessible and Shortcomings within the book are authoritative. I recently met a man called Tadeusz what the German people knew of the Smreczyn ´ski in Kraków. Laurence Rees’s Holocaust I hope readers take a lot from the book. as well as his own What new view of the Holocaust would phy. Not just the powerful and often He declares the intentionalist school certainly has its small flaws and. Rees has oned during the war. He was impris- grim events being described. He writes a complex subject. Nonetheless. you like your book to give? no-nonsense approach to the issue. although his career was living in an “iron time” and had appears to run out of steam. previously unpublished testimony. Germany more than 400 pages. conclusions – in barely 20 pages. but it seems that this and he had a revelation when he was in of the death camp commandant. that it seems to come to a rather abrupt So after the war he became a revered of course. but also an understanding idea that the Holocaust progressed to word on the subject. Sometimes less really is more. he nonetheless has a clear-eyed. concentration camp. Postwar. final six months of the war – including amazing man. chaos of liberation. even at the same site. of his “achievements”. prisoners with a single shot. Hitler was the man most responsible. After pacing his account well for doctor. For example. Laurence Rees’s study Laurence of the Holocaust “is Rees extremely welcome”. I admire him hugely. Whether I have succeeded. Nazi hands: he decided that the only a doctor. SS chief Himmler. for inspirational stories of people such as of thought – which subscribes to the this reason.. material and is an admirable and largely was not decided in a straightforward way AKG IMAGES/FRAN MONKS preferring (quite plausibly) to portray successful attempt at an accessible but via an interaction between a vision the development of the Holocaust as an synthesis of a huge subject. but many others escalations and local initiatives than Roger Moorhouse is a historian and were guilty as well. The first-hand material is very strong. is up to the reader to decide! few. Personal property taken by the Nazis Five minutes from prisoners held at Auschwitz with. He is an “to sweep with iron brooms”. of course. 2014) how it could happen. author whose books include The Devils’ appalling crime in the history of the world. it would have been interesting The great privilege of my working life has to read a little more than the couple of been to meet extraordinary people who pages presented on the thorny issue of were part of this history. He is a man of incredible principle. first in Auschwitz and done well to cover the myriad strands of then in a concentration camp in Austria. Æ 91 . he stood firm. says Roger Moorhouse What led you to write this book? Over the past 25 years I have read many astonishing Holocaust memoirs and a number of insightful academic histories of the crime. covering the suffered as a result. although scarcely new. who was perversely “proud” The only real caveat with the book is purpose of life had to be to try to “do good”. This was the most central directives. and I think that we all need to understand helping to explain the often bizarrely 1939–1941 (The Bodley Head. with analysis of the machinations of the Nazi various methods of extermination state in quite the way that I intended. Though Rees does not dwell on the the horror of the death marches and the Holocaust’s often-contested historiogra. but it might have been used with a Your book features a great deal of lighter touch and a dash more context. is perhaps not the final Smreczyn ´ski. would not have been repulsed end. he refused to join the Communist by such depravity. So. but I had not found a general work that combined the emotional power of first-hand interview testimony with an disorganised nature of events. Rees almost party in Poland and. Thus overlapping and sometimes being used I hope I have written a new history of the simultaneously. This approach. In Do any stories particularly stand out? addition. To his mind. has the benefit of Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin. This immense crime by Hitler – to be unconvincing..

the book also touches briefly on Canada. While the emphasis than John Ralston Saul’s A Fair Country: in swing bands. and good government” remains a goal for City itself: frenetic. Wolfgang Reinhardt’s attempt a book. nation of Canada. Stewart’s book reads as an and settler societies. historians figure less prominently. Ever since 2014’s The Transforma. and with a similarly breathtak. Jules Stewart The Empire State Building to cover no fewer than six centuries of explores the central contradiction nears completion in late 1930/ European expansion. £20 tion of the World d by Jürgen Osterhammel. aficionados and fans of well-written the darker side of Canada’s past. their titles featuring phrases celebrates the range of examples that architects. No work built Chrysler Building and Rockefeller the Waldorf Astoria hotel lobbies as he is has generated more Center. from their next trip to the city. the 1867 the book has a similar pace to New York history alike will enjoy both this constitutional injunction of “peace. Canada LaGuardia and Robert Moses. “We are a Métis civilisa- tion. Margaret Conrad is a historian and the tumultuous relationship between professor emerita at the University post-depression mayor Fiorello Benjamin Houston is senior lecturer in of New Brunswick. history. IB Tauris. to the progres- Scores of writers have brawn and cultural prowess flourished sive politics debated in Greenwich tried to summarise the as never before? Although never quite Village. detailing the construction of the Empire comment. 288 pages. ing array of cultural flowering embodied State Building. historians Benjamin Houston move slowly and the is swept along by a German branch is no exception. leading to both fairness are essential Canadian values their way to the top of the city’s assimilation and occasional tension. Among them is Die Unterwerfung readable frolic of der Welt. he wonders. that in the 1930s – the same years that the Great Depression bit hardest in terms of powerful urban planner who reshaped CANADA economic suffering – the city’s physical the city on an epic scale. of steel that made up the various open love letter to the city. essayists. York City during one of sy over immigration in Europe has sparked its most pivotal decades a number of books by novelists. A diverse cast of characters essence of the sprawling providing a single definitive answer. the modern US history at Newcastle University 92 . While this generali. financiers. he features along the way: jazz artists. the decade established the city good’. Big Apple sation is a stretch for those who recognise skyscrapers popping up all over the city.CULTURE E Book Reviews What the world is reading right now Building blocks GERMANY As a group. easy accessibility – and start planning GETTY IMAGES sesquicentennial of their nation. an “open love letter to the city” and German Divergence (OUP. new titles have sprung up that echo that magisterial account of 19th-century In this breezy. 2016) How is it. Stewart is equally kingdom’ and ‘a cautious Dizzyingly embodied by the newly comfortable describing the art decorating country”. art scenes and literary remains firmly on ‘the great and the Telling Truths about Canada (Viking outputs. Stewart covers varied topics. politicians and sociologists. order. early 1931. and businessmen. we think of today. 2008). Gotham Rising: Yet the continuing popularity of global New York in the 1930s history still resonates with the current by Jules Stewart debate. patrons such as “the peaceable animate the question. but nonetheless book’s wide-ranging scope and its many Canadians as they celebrate 2017’s more energising than exhausting. Though the spirited history of New recent public controver.” he declared at the outset of his book. Jules Stewart’s inherent in the decade pivotal to the Kim Christian Priemel is the author look at New York’s history is of The Betrayal: The Nuremberg Trials making of modern New York City. based on the integration of indigenous underworld to cataloguing the tonnages Overall. both positive and negative. From breathlessly ethnic settlement patterns as immigrants arguing that negotiation and a sense of listing the Mafia mobsters who gunned flooded into the city.

however. and a mysterious beast with Cape. they saw the world the hallmarks of the oral storyteller’s All these episodes are. Eleanor tered by the war-band leader Yngvar Viking sagas – and what Rosamund Barraclough’s new book while on a raiding expedition to the east these reveal about how explores Viking history through the of Russia (what had probably been seen medium of these tales. though their settlements Viking Voyages and Similarly disregarding the dry-as. zest for exaggeration. GETTY IMAGES Yet. Philip Parker is the author of The Northmen’s surviving literatures: epic accounts of to the “apple-throwing man sporting a Fury: A History of the Viking World (Jonathan the heroic (and on occasion decidedly bird-beak. popular history. £25 ent narrative or chronicle of raids. The resulting book is a vibrant account coastlines of north-west Europe. Barraclough in the 15th century. and Yngvar’s by Eleanor Rosamund does not try to provide us with a consist. mysteriously faded away at some point the Old Norse Sagas dust approach to history. Instead memory of those who perished during it. runestones in Scandinavia set up in campaigns and exploration. the Vikings invented world. the people. in the shape of the sagas. Greenland. a tower strapped in his back” encoun- exploration of the warriors and womenfolk. An Icelandic illumination showing the Norwegian king Harald Fairhair cutting the chains between himself and a giant. they a shipwrecked Viking crew through the also left one of medieval Europe’s richest frozen wastes of eastern Greenland. expedition is attested to by numerous Barraclough OUP. Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough’s book explores what such tall tales tell us about the Viking perception of the world From the Norse’s mouth Philip Parker enjoys an evocatively written unheroic) deeds of Viking kings. zombies” who were said to have chased historically sound. and the civilisations relish for the retelling of the sagas. which bear all was an elephant and its riding-seat). 2014) 93 . boastfulness and firmly anchored to historically verifiable bravado at the expense of small-minded events. they These range from (in Barraclough’s that evokes the spirit of the Viking age have long endured a reputation as words) the “handful of malevolent in a thoroughly entertaining. she asks a simple question of the Yet what makes Beyond the North- Vikings: “What did they think of the lands so effective is Barraclough’s clear In a sense. Fierce warriors who that they encountered?” and her lightness of touch in producing erupted from their Scandinavian The answers take readers on a a real sense of the vastness and diversity homelands in the eighth century to exhilarating ride through some of the of the world that the Vikings inhabited. yet thuggish and uncultured barbarians. 352 pages. The Vikings did colonise Beyond the Northlands: regard for the facts. inflict a 150-year reign of terror on the more unusual corners of Norse history. fashion.

Today we are probably Verso. feature prominently. It is a celebration feminism is a practical mission. But the book celebrates their Birkbeck. and she uses her writings Of course. Sheila Rowbotham believes that “socialist- feminism is a practical mission. and the leftwing British and American idealists achievements. But the story is by Sheila Rowbotham Helena Born. However. Free Lovers. mysticism can win against ‘mechanistic of the 20th century Manchester and Massachusetts all materialism’. Sheila Rowbotham is these extraordinary individuals’ political referendum and the election of Trump. is more relevant than ever. mistakes were Joanna Bourke is professor of history at Rebel Crossingss tells the story of six made. Rowbotham follows them as with workers at the British Workman for a new society across they move around the UK and criss-cross Coffee House to discuss labour strikes. 512 pages. social individuals in discussing such matters as reformer and ‘new woman’ Helen Tufts. Fabianism. this is societies. history is theosophy. Edinburgh. Though she in my pigeon hole – and rarely has a book fail to do justice to the complexity of wrote the book before the Brexit been so welcome. 2014) 94 . ‘Is socialism inevitable?’. but the debate The morning after Donald Trump and socialist-feminist novelist Gertrude about ‘Why women should organise’ won the US election. have not materialised. this book appeared Dix. says Joanna Bourke Free radicals Joanna Bourke rates a look at the idealists as they worked for personal and societal listen as radical men and women lustily who spread their hopes betterment at the turn of the 20th sing along to Equal Rights Forever. of wild courage and personal passion. join century. Readers are encouraged to author of The Story of Pain (OUP. For Rowbotham. feminism. These brief descriptions. These are the ‘rebel It is a lively read. California. Rowbotham Rebel Crossings. £25 militant unionist Robert Allan Nicol. many were politically active at that time. The six individuals of the book will which means that readers are sometimes and Radicals in Britain probably not be well known to most overwhelmed by an excess of inconse- and the United States readers. not going to join Rowbotham’s radical journalist William Bailie. They were ideologically eclectic. there were casualties: rifts to promote this vision. engage with debates about how radical Dunfermline. Women. confesses that she is a “nosy person”. not a utopian dream”. anarchism – to name just a few. They include labour organiser quential information. New crossings’ in her title. spiritualism. University of London. and much else besides. of course. Rowbotham admits that she finds it dedicated her life to grassroots activism engaging in passions as diverse as “ineffably baffling” that radical struggles aimed at creating more equitable socialism. Belfast. London. the Atlantic at the dawn the Atlantic: Bristol. developed between lovers. GETTY IMAGES utopian dream. socialist Miriam Daniell. They strength of solidarity. a writer for a post-2016 world: she has lives.CULTURE E Book Reviews Socialist women at a rally in New York City in 1908. a heartening one. not a pursued freedom and individuality. free love and an optimistic book that attests to the both political and personal: socialist.

photographs and artwork are accepted on the basis that BBC World BBC WORLDWIDE Histories and its agents do not accept liability for loss or damage to same.Jones@immediate. Prof Joanna Bourke Birkbeck College. Eleanor Shakespeare. David Render. Catherine Merridale. Adam IP Smith. James Flynn. Michael Cocks. Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past* SYNDICATION Michael Wood historian and broadcaster Director of licensing & syndication Tim Hudson *member of BBC Editorial Advisory Board International partners’ manager Anna Brown IMMEDIATE MEDIA COMPANY © Immediate Media Company Bristol Limited. Charlotte Hodgman. Joanna Bourke. Richard Head of UK publishing Chris Kerwin or write to Katherine Jerry Brotton. Hilary Clothier. Chris Bowlby. or where it Deputy chairman Peter Phippen proved impossible to trace the copyright Kathleen Burk. Tonwen Jones. Factual. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. Dominic Crossley-Holland Executive Producer. Dr Padma Anagol Cardiff University Roger Moorhouse. Tower House. Unauthorised reproduction Managing director Andy Marshall in whole or part is prohibited without written permission. Not for resale. Kim Christian Priemel. Group editor Rob Attar Bristol BS1 3BN. Vladislav Zubok Prof Richard Evans Cambridge University Prof Sarah Foot Oxford University THANKS TO Prof Rab Houston St Andrews University Emma Bal. Prof John Hudson St Andrews University John Evans. acknowledgement will be Chairman Stephen Alexander made in a future issue. BBC* ADVERTISING & MARKETING Christopher Lee formerly Cambridge University Advertising manager Sam Jones Prof John Morrill Cambridge University Sam. Dublin Senior direct marketing executive Natalie Lawrence Prof Martin Pugh formerly Newcastle University US representative Kate Buckley buckley@buckleypell. CONTACT US Issue 2 – February 2017 Website historyextra. Tom Hall. Michael Scott. John Romer. UK Art editor Susanne Frank Phone +44 117 314 7377 Designer Paul Jarrold Production editor Paul Bloomfield Group production editor Spencer Mizen Issue 3 on sale on 29 March 2017 Editorial production Sue Wingrove Turn to page 101 to pre-order now Picture editor Samantha Nott Picture researcher Katherine Hallett Digital editor Emma Mason Acting digital editor Elinor Evans Website assistant Ellie Cawthorne CONTRIBUTORS Hakim Adi. Immediate Media Company Editor Matt Elton Bristol Limited.aspx 95 . Rob Blackmore. 44 Brook Green. London W6 7BT. Tanya Harmer. Davide Bonazzi. Fairfax Street. Pankaj Mishra. London Laurence Rees. Publisher David Musgrove 2017 – ISSN: 1469 Email worldhistories@historyextra. We abide Director of editorial governance Nicholas Brett by IPSO’s rules and regulations. Prof Richard Carwardine Oxford University Robert Service. Director of consumer products and publishing Andrew Moultrie please visit immediate. bbcworldwide. Peter Frankopan. Kate under licence from BBC Worldwide who help fund new BBC programmes. Ben Houston. Margaret Conrad. BBC* Prof Clive Emsley Open University Susan Williams. Factual. Tom Holland. Vineyard House. Publishing director Andy Healy All rights EDITORIAL Post BBC World email editorialcomplaints@immediate.Publishing@bbc. Helen Atkinson. Rachel Dickens. In the event of any material being used inadvertently. English Heritage Reprographics Tony Hunt and Chris Sutch Prof Helen Weinstein Director of +44 117 3008 145 Greg Neale Founding United Kingdom. Dr Peter Jones formerly Newcastle University Prof Denis Judd London Metropolitan University Rosemary Smith. MSS. NP Ludlow. BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE ADVISORY PANEL Jeffrey Lee. Evan Mawdsley. Publisher Mandy Thwaites Immediate Media effort has been made to secure permission for copyright CEO Tom Bureau material. To give feedback about our magazines. Facebook facebook. Josette Reeves. BBC History Magazine Prof Kenneth O Morgan Oxford University Subscriptions director Jacky Perales-Morris Prof Cormac ó Gráda University College. Colm Murphy. Everett Sharp. Sarah Theresa BBC World Histories is published by Immediate Media Company Bristol Limited Twitter Julian Richards archaeologist and broadcaster Prof Simon Schama Columbia University PRODUCTION Prof Mark Stoyle University of Southampton Dr Amanda Goodrich The Open University* Production co-ordinator Emily Mounter Dr Simon Thurley formerly chief executive. Paul Hewitt/Battlefield MAGAZINE Design.. Philip Parker. Robert Twigger. Publishing co-ordinator Eva Abramik UK. Stuart Tootal Prof Sir Ian Kershaw formerly Sheffield University Robert Ketteridge Head of Documentaries. Victor Sebestyen.


or tattoos. prints and artefacts reveal how artists would often deliberately exaggerate the exoticism of their subjects by adding adornments to their works – from THOMAS ANDREW– MUSEUM OF NEW ZEALAND TE PAPA TONGAREWA Samoan customary nga-toi-arts-te-papa/adorned Æ 97 . Wellington tepapa. to the use of taonga – highly treasured objects – as props. ALTERED IMAGES The portrayal of Maori and Pacific peoples in art since the 18th century is the subject of an exhibition at the Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa) in Wellington. Paintings.govt. Works on display include headdresses. Adorned. who has been dressed in customary garb to satisfy a growing market for ‘exotic’ imagery. tattooing equipment and photos such as this studio portrait of an unknown Samoan woman from c1896. until 26 February at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

the value of that flower’s bulbs Loos (Dane DeHaan). is at the heart of a new historical drama This 18th-century Torah crown. Kasuga Taisha shrine is the focus arms and armour from Japan’s medieval period. ornately decorated with musical instruments. who is painting COURTESY OF THE ISRAEL MUSEUM /BRIDGEMAN/ROBERT HARDING of the Venetian ghetto.r is set against by Justin Chadwick (known for 2008’s the highly charged backdrop of The Other Boleyn Girl).il/exhibitions in March 1637. At the peak of the frenzy Their hearts set on a future together. Museum. crippling the Based on the bestselling novel finances of many Dutch businessmen. Jerusalem imj. of an exhibition Eternal Treasures from Kasuga Taisha Shrine. A new exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum features treasures from and relating to Japan’s ancient the shrine. by Deborah Moggach and directed A new film. l the film looks Amsterdam’s tulip boom. a single bulb could cost the pair decide to invest in the risky more than 10 times the annual salary tulip market to raise funds for their of a skilled craftsman. until 12 March in Tokyo at the Tokyo National Museum. the tulip bubble burst. that district’s name became used for all such areas in other cities). was originally built to secure the protection and prosperity of the nation’s people. by 1636. and the introduction The two embark on a heated affair and ceremonial objects that once graced the of ever-more exotic species. married into money made from the tulip 30 March (Germany) TEMPLE TREASURES Now a Unesco World Heritage site. and remains a prominent and revered site. allowing the Jewish minority to settle permanently in the city for the first time A BLOSSOMING ROMANCE (indeed. maid to escape her ageing husband. But later that year escapade – with dramatic consequences. from 24 February (US and Canada). the Venice Ghetto. here depicted in a 19th-century painting. saw prices formulate an elaborate plan in which synagogues of that neighbourhood. Japan tnm. Tulip Fever. The tulip’s status a portrait of Sophia and her husband.CULTURE E Agenda The Dutch trade in tulips. until 30 June at the Israel leading 98 . the eighth-century Kasuga Taisha shrine in Nara. Unhappily to capture the luxury and decadence of married noblewoman Sophia Sandvoort 17th-century Amsterdam. including paintings and sculptures. the world’s first institutional- ised ghetto was created in Venice. (Alicia Vikander). a new exhibition soared beyond reason. who has recently Tulip Fever. falls in love with artist Jan Van Marking five centuries since the creation century. the tulip bulb had Sophia will switch identities with her Venetian Splendor: Marking 500 Years of become the Dutch Republic’s fourth. features in an exhibition of Venice’s Jewish history THE FIRST GHETTO In 1516. in Jerusalem features some of the lavish as a luxury item. During the ‘tulip mania’ of the 17th trade. as well as swords. in Japan’s Kansai region.

both volunteer nurses working at the Inspired by real memoirs and letters Union-run Mansion House Hospital written by wartime doctors and nurses at in Alexandria. Season struggle to adapt to a new way of life. Almost 300 works are on display. is now open to the public for the first time. With critics and dramatic events of the first-season finale. Virginia – on the border recently opened to the public The second series of Mercy Street is currently for the first time between North and South – residents showing on PBS in the United States. and streaming services (depending on country) WORDS CHARLOTTE HODGMAN 99 . covering some of the costumes – as well as its historical and conflict’s key confrontations including medical accuracy and handling of social the Seven Days’ Battle and Antietam. The series follows the lives of be. medals and manuscripts. which has Alexandria. A new exhibition here explores the period of major reforms that led to the creation of the modern Tunisian state in 1861. prevalent in a Union contraband camp. The Rise of a Nation: Art at the Dawn of Modern Tunisia. one is now available on DVD and via download Meanwhile. ERIK HEINILA/GETTY IMAGES American Civil War of 1861–65. executive- produced by film director Ridley Scott. as they are forced to experience the abolitionist Mary Phinney and terrible living conditions and disease Confederate supporter Emma Green. many of the ©COURTESY OF PBS. series’ characters are also based on real Picking up directly from the people from the period. The PBS drama Mercy Street. historians praising the show’s attention the new run takes viewers even closer to to detail – down to hairstyles and the battlefield. Union-occupied city of just as popular as the first. until 27 February at Ksar Saïd Palace. Virginia. at Ksar Saïd Palace. during the Mansion House Hospital. Tunis. a former residence of Tunisia’s Husainid dynasty in the Tunis suburb of Bardo. Tunisia NORTH VERSUS SOUTH Television period drama Mercy Street has American people find that freedom returned to US channel PBS for a second isn’t quite what they imagined it to season. has been praised for its handling of issues of ethnicity and slavery REFORMS AND REVOLUTION The 19th-century Ksar Saïd Palace. the second season looks set to be Visitors admire artefacts In the war-torn. issues. including paintings. formerly enslaved African.

key issues and major players from throughout our global past The 1986 Reykjavík Summit Behind the scenes with both sides at the talks that aimed ON SALE 29 MARCH 2017 to reduce nuclear weapons China’s path to dominance Robert Bickers charts Have empires been the rise and rise of the a force for good? modern superpower Seven experts tackle another of history’s biggest questions Petra in pictures A visual guide La Paz GETTY/ALAMY to the ancient Embark on a historical tour of city in Jordan the breathtaking Bolivian city 100 . ISSUE 3 PREVIEW Our third issue explores more vital stories.

available from 29 March 2017 GETTY 101 . COMING SOON ISSUE 3 ON SALE 29 MARCH 2017 Enjoyed what you’ve read? Look DON’T MISS OUT out for issue 3 in your app store.

Robert Twigger describes the story of Sir Francis Younghusband’s invasion 102 . a British military expedition crossed into the long-isolated and inhospitable land of Tibet – but the pseudo-diplomatic mission became a bloody assault. Journeys Stories and sights from global history In the footsteps of… The British invasion of Tibet In 1903.

GETTY IMAGES Younghusband’s expedition among these lofty peaks faced bitter cold and altitude sickness. “Almost all foreigners were forbidden.500 metres above sea level. as well as defiant Tibetans Æ 103 . Only Buddhists were permitted to visit this isolated land” The Tibetan plateau lies at an altitude averaging over 4.

spy. 7. JOURNEYS In the footsteps of Younghusband in Tibet ate in 1903. serving in Kash- armed invasion would make Tibet bow Tibetan delegates visited and mir and running the First World War ‘Fight to British imperialism. and 2. A committed mystic who had several At night.000 fighting troops – Europe. After news of his journey spread. Bristol. the song ‘Jerusalem’ in 1916). and 11 died of ‘Great Game’ – spying on Russia to thwart low Russia to gain control there. was the highpoint of his career. conditions were tough: journey alone through Inner Mongolia central Asia known as the Great Game. temperatures plummeted so low and Sinkiang (now Xinjiang) in western Tibet acted as a buffer between India that oil froze in rifle bolts. His interest in the officer. it had become clear that hastily constructed huts. around 1. Manchuria. explorer 3.000 ‘coolies’. The men slept in tents and its ambitions of securing a warm-water British requests. at night. an officers plus Gurkhas. graphical Society and founded the Mount leader of the mission was the political The viceroy. But they needed a casus belli – and Tibet. rules of the army.000 support soldiers. Taken to At the start of the 20th century Tibet tion ascended to the Tibetan Plateau en England at a very young age.000 metres above sea level. and for centuries could took 67 shirts and 18 pairs of boots and born in Murree. Not very friendly – but hardly a just In December 1903. So the Everest Committee. for some 50 miles to the Tuna plain. Sir Francis Edward Tibet was – and still is – a land famed for its remote location and harsh terrain. shoes). dedicated to quelling antagonism between religions. Younghusband precursor to what followed: the invasion and Macdonald mustered a force of of Tibet by a British force. 104 . in L of Nepalese yak herders strayed across the (un- marked) northern border. a general in the Indian army. herders was enough. In 1903 he was China was unable to make Tibet comply cooked on fires made of yak dung. or and mystic travellers arriving across the high passes porters. north-east India. Despite pneumonia. making his remarkable return been involved in the political tussle in Unsurprisingly. but Britain had become had ‘Gilgit’ boots – quilted. He died in and 11 men died of pneumonia Dorset in 1942 after suffering a stroke. Colonel Francis Younghusband. aged just 25. (highly venerated religious leaders). ‘did not qualify’. son of expect a welcome as chilly as the climate. temperatures plummeted spiritual experiences in the Himalayas. of course. Food appointed head of the Tibet Frontier with demands for negotiations. concerned that the Chinese – who had affairs – but many. he was was a theocratic state ruled by lamas route to the capital. Some soldiers China. after that he was largely sidelined. and food was port south of Afghanistan. Brutal conditions patrol work – ahead of the main force.000 to 5. schooled at Clifton College. under the arcane he became famous.953 yaks and 7. repeatedly delivered the same message: for Right’ campaign (which commissioned cally named Tibet Frontier Commission before any negotiations could take place. a handful who arrived in the state of Sikkim. 2. refused. Lhasa. and con. suffered severe frostbite.5-metre-high wall Æ Himalayas was the key force behind the 1924 Mallory and Irvine summit attempt. in GETTY IMAGES 1936 Younghusband founded the World so low that oil froze in rifle bolts. British India. had determined that only an and ghee (clarified butter) being staples. Crossing the border. They were met by a party of armed the aggression met by those Nepalese yak men who promptly dispersed their yaks. considerable influence in Tibet. By 1903 the viceroy of India.000 mules of the Himalaya are liable to suffer to carry baggage (Younghusband alone Francis Younghusband (1863–1942) was altitude sickness. crossing the Mustagh Pass to reach and Russia. Lord ing or bought locally – salted meat. the expedi. wool-lined Kashmir. on Only Buddhists could expect to be The invasion force continued unopposed reconnaissance – in 1882 he joined the King’s Dragoon Guards in Meerut. flour Leading the invasion of Tibet in 1903–4 Curzon. pursuing the sidered it part of their empire – might al. Some In the 1890s Younghusband travelled widely in Chinese Turkestan. De facto Yatung at the Sikkim border. By nature inclined towards cavalry and almost all foreigners were forbidden. In 1886 permitted to visit this isolated land. he received six months’ leave to travel to For decades Britain and Russia had where they decided to overwinter. in July and formed an expedition force with Brigadier-General James Macdonald as military command- Unfortunately that incursion was into er. Congress of Faiths. Commission by Lord Curzon. Tibetans built a 1. The euphemisti. supplies were transported from Darjeel. Punjabis and Pathans as well as Sikh Pioneers and Younghusband: Much of it occupies a high plateau from Indian Army engineers – along with Soldier. In 1919 he was formed with the aim of forcing the Younghusband’s mission must retreat to was made president of the Royal Geo- Tibetans to sign an accord.

Younghusband arrives in Lhasa and forces the Tibetans to sign an accord The British expedition begins to cross the Tsangpo river at Chaksam. British forces storm Gyantse fort. resulting in a massacre of 700 Tibetans Younghusband’s forces overwinter on the Tuna plain Younghusband arrives in Gangtok. Three men die in first attempts with collapsible boats before local coracles safely carry 3. Sikkim. to prepare for the mission to Tibet The expedition departs Gnathong and crosses into Tibet Æ ILLUSTRATION BY THERESA GRIEBEN 105 .500 men in a crossing taking five days. clearing the way to Lhasa The British troops overwhelm the Tibetans at Guru pass.

with fur coat and Tsangpo river blocked hat). JOURNEYS In the footsteps of Younghusband in Tibet Gyantse’s imposing medieval dzong (fort) still dominates the skyline. The fort presented the last major obstacle blocking Younghusband’s route into the heart of Tibet in 1904 Francis Younghusband The fast-flowing (centre. pictured with members the expedition’s final of his expedition en route to approach to Lhasa Tuna in January 1904 ALAMY/GETTY IMAGES/ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY (WITH IBG) 106 .

Gyantse and Flanking movements by the British suffer a siege. Of in collapsible boats claimed to be unsink. After numerous by centuries of bare human feet. some 10 miles beyond Tuna. their hand had been forced. Under pressure. When the & Nicolson. suffered no fatalities and just After negotiation. back up – and this time made it through aggression for which the British Military ons were not army issue but individually the hole. And and fell 9 metres back down the slope but. and waited for their enemy to arrive. the road to Lhasa was effectively blocked. The British began disarming Tibetans exploding shells breached the stonework. despite their wounds. firing broke out dashing along at 7 knots. After the London policemen display on Boat Race commander. There was. Younghusband ordered an unsinkable boats 13th Dalai Lama. climbed straight abandoned to Chinese aggression. On three columns of infantry crawled required to pay a 7. the fort as Tibetans sought to escape. At 4 o’clock on the morning of 6 July.500 men able – but that didn’t stop them capsizing. Sikkim border was ceded to British India built sangars (stone-built fortifications) ‘Bubble’. One gen. But at the breach. but not quite the into the crowd. and Unlike the tough trek to Lhasa. 10-pounders armed with the results were not as he’d hoped. said at the time: “The Tibetans were Younghusband. grey-clad through the dark and. expedition arrived in Lhasa on 3 August. cation with Lhasa. closely followed by his hav. Tibetans in Gyantse fort: surrender. husband had achieved his goal – though Gurkhas and 23rd Sikh Pioneers. the Tibetan army – around 1. but stipulated that the troops – which capsized. In March. 3. Lieutenant Grant. under sporadic demnity. It was a massacre. an elderly seven-pounder gun. The diplomat Sir Charles Bell prior agreement is always difficult.500 men. tantly agreed to sign a convention in his should hold their fire unless fired upon. and the decision steep steps. and to lodge a permanent British positioned Maxim guns and infantry. On 11 April the expedition reached The hobnailed boots of the British Tuna being 4. one last telegraph line.500 animals and 350 tons of Mountain: Real and expedition marched towards Lhasa. kind they had been expecting. In fact. country had been stormed and found to everywhere. obstacle: the Tsangpo river at Chaksam.400 metres above sea level. and the mounted infantry were and home of the Dalai Lama. permitting the Inch by inch the troops marched closer. The British installed a belted overcoat. Gartok.” same families for generations. until payment had been received. set charges below the bastion’s walls. Young- were hustled out in silence by the 8th was fired but the fort still stood inviolate. equipment across the torrent in five days. The British. 2016) Æ 107 . breathless from the effects of altitude. was first British left Lhasa. or British to trade in Yatung. march back to Sikkim was a straightfor- sword. contrast. towards an agreement. with few British losses. But climb they did. allowing faster communi- shot a Sikh soldier through the jaw. That pattern was leather coracles was co-opted. planting the seeds of the 1950 disarming men without some kind of ildar (sergeant). reached inside his voluminous The road was now open to the heart ward affair. The last forbidden In an instant. – possibly 700 lay dead. as if “negotiating some device was made to move on to Lhasa. no real evidence of a Tibetan- “with the good humoured severity that revealing a tiny black hole. and the Chumbi valley on the Tibetan musketeers hiding in hastily fire. Gyantse. followed by a stream of riflemen. A Gurkha Russian pact was uncovered. Ropes unfurled from retreat were primarily responsible. carrying the author of White repeated during further skirmishes as the 3. worn smooth towards the wall behind which the barrier before Lhasa. absence in the great audience hall of the The morning of 31 March 1904 was cold drowning three Potala Palace – symbolic heart of Lhasa and grey. Imagined Journeys in the hundreds of Tibetans were killed in By now the Tibetans realised that Himalayas (Weidenfeld encounters. resident in Gyantse. The Tibetans were which bore down on the Tibetans.000-rupee in- the escarpments to either side. The men attempted to cross the Tsangpo at Guru pass. the local system of Robert Twigger is 12 casualties in total. The river in supposedly they discovered that Tibet’s leader. In July at a funfair”. Expedition to Lhasa and subsequent owned broadswords that had been in the The game was up. in drowning an officer and two Gurkhas. remaining officials reluc- advance. There was no reply. an missed a vital point: the Tibetans’ weap. soared. the eral. Both were hit by bullets invasion. At 3pm. some 75 miles north of Guru.500. officers found no purchase on the steps But the British troops marched forward where the fort presented the last major to the Audience Hall. about to be relieved of his ancestral resistance evaporated. pulled out a revolver and of Tibet. They massed Tibetan troops were ready to fan official meetings no progress was made reportedly had to climb crabwise up the out and overwhelm the British. wide and deep. Maxims were lazily emptied At first the expedition attempted to cross be… still a mystery. and the Massacre at Guru pass Younghusband sent an ultimatum to the convention was signed. for all his experience. however. Chinese influence night”. had fled to Mongolia. as a later commentator noted.

is the oldest building in South Africa blend of colonial visitors can gaze down on the safe and is still the headquarters of the army harbour that made this spot the perfect in the Western Cape. First World War. memorial specifically commemorates With your bearings established. in which some Town.500 South African soldiers were killed. As a British Dominion. JOURNEYS Global City Cape Town South Africa Africa’s ‘Mother City’ The kaleidoscopic streets of the Bo-Kaap district are the historic home of Cape Town’s Muslim population The first European here’s only really one place VOC) – the world’s first multinational settlement in South T to start exploring the dramatically situated ‘Mother City’ – from the corporation. including Koopmans-de publications East India Company (abbreviated as Wet House 4 . Africa is an intriguing top of Table Mountain 1 . Clamber up onto architecture and toehold on the continent. one Tom Hall would become Kaapstad (Cape Town) of the oldest in the city. the 1916 battle of Delville Wood. where many is a travel writer and was established in 1652 as a refuelling townhouses of Cape Colony merchants AWL IMAGES editorial director of point. apartheid-era heritage. in east mountain. fort’s interior and surroundings. which tell the story of the city’s 2. by the Dutch and British rule. From here. The star fort called the Castle of Good Hope 2 . and the first to issue shares.000 of its with stories. You’ll also find here the from the ‘Tavern of the symbolised the uttermost end of Africa in Delville Wood Memorial. stretching It’s a short walk from the castle to south towards the Cape of Good Hope. whether South African soldiers who fought in the Seas’ to Mandela’s jail you’ve taken the cable car or walked up. 5km from the cable-car station. breathe in the fresh mountain air and South Africa stood alongside Britain in savour a world-class panorama charged the conflict. The settlement that Stroll north-east to Strand Street. For now. planted as the Tom Hall explores the may not truly be the southernmost point VOC’s vegetable patch in 1652 and now on the continent – that honour goes to fragrant with the scents of the city’s finest history of Cape Town. providing water and food for were built during the centuries of Dutch Lonely Planet ships travelling to Asia. Company’s Garden 3 . constructed for a wealthy 108 . and look the bastions for the perfect view of the beyond to see Africa spread before them. built between 1666 and 1679. honouring the minds of travellers. The Cape Peninsula. This Beacon. and nearly 150. To reach the summit troops served in the Middle East. Cape Agulhas – but for centuries it has rose garden. development. follow the signs to Maclear’s Africa and on the western front. part it’s time to hit the streets of Cape of the Somme offensive.

originally freed slaves from history The Auwal Mosque is nearby. refugees. Rose and Wale Streets to viewpoint on the east side of Table 4 Koopmans-de Wet House explore the most picturesque parts of the Mountain. buildings and cobblestone streets have and is the perfect place to ponder his 5 Bo-Kaap district and museum long been home to the city’s Cape Malay controversial and (often also referred to as Cape Muslim) The darkest stain on South Africa’s museum showcasing Islamic heritage South Africa’s first. The city’s story isn’t all big houses and as traders. On Wale Street you’ll find the understanding of the issues and events of Monument on Table Mountain Bo-Kaap Museum. Six Museum 8 in East City. though. though. Now a museum. 17th-century fort. Madagascar and apartheid era (1948–91). and visit the District robben-island.Capetonian family in the late 18th CAPE TOWN IN EIGHT SITES century. for centuries. join the crowds at the site of 7 Robben Island where you’ll learn more about this area’s Nelson Mandela’s incarceration on Infamous apartheid-era jail heritage. For a deeper 6 Rhodes Memorial elsewhere. it dates from 1794. the segregation of the south-east Asia. Colourful houses of Malay settlers. refugees. 1 Table Mountain the wealth of the city in an era when it ordinary people Panoramic views across old Cape Town was known as the ‘Tavern of the Seas’ – Queen Victoria Street amble along Strand Street and turn onto Chiappini. The simple iziko. is viewed by some as Beautifully preserved 18th-century home 35 Strand Street Bo-Kaap suburb 5 on the lower slopes of bombastic and grandiose. Robben Island 7 .za barracks. his dismantled and sets the scene for the 25A Buitenkant Street memorial 6 .org. arrived in Cape Town 2 Castle of Good Hope trading and carousing here. which 8 District Six Museum Cecil Rhodes dominated the final explains how this multicultural area was More apartheid history years of British rule in South Africa. These colourful low-rise wooden bench nearby was his own. standing at his favourite many township tours that stop Signal Hill. ordinary slaves and soldiers 3 Company’s Garden people arrived as traders. it showcases For 7 4 2 5 3 8 6 1 ILLUSTRATION BY TONWEN JONES 109 . a party town for sailors population. oldest in South Africa To discover one facet of this. an interesting stop that time. slaves The VOC’s vegetable patch and soldiers.

JOURNEYS Wonders of the World Wonders of the World Angkor Cambodia SHUTTERSTOCK/MAP: BATTLEFIELD DESIGN 110 .

published posthumously in 1864. now a Buddhist shrine. dominate the skyline of Angkor. centrepiece of the civilisation of northern Cambodia that. Cambodia’s epic empire At its medieval peak. Consecrated around 1150 as a temple to the Hindu god Vishnu and mausoleum of Khmer King Suryavarman II. a Khmer kingdom dominated swathes of south-east Asia – creating heroic monuments including the largest religious structure ever built – yet mysteriously dissolved in the 15th century.000 apsaras (holy nymphs). \ Towering achievement The five intricately carved towers of Angkor Wat. Though never ‘lost’ to locals. ruled much of what’s now Thailand. the world’s largest religious monument is adorned with bas reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu epics and more than 3. is merely one of dozens in the city originally known as Ya´sodharapura. at its medieval peak. But this magnif- icent temple. the tallest rising to 65 metres high. Angkor was revealed to the western world only through the writings and drawings of botanist and explorer Henri Mouhot. Paul Bloomfield explores the temples and cities of Angkor Æ 111 . Laos and southern Vietnam.

below right) depict scenes of gambling. capital of what would become the Angkor empire – the enormous extent of which is only now being revealed. today’s Angkor. This huge monastery had 18 high priests and 2. Extraordinary bas-relief carvings at various temples here offer insights into everyday life in the empire. who replaced Hinduism with Buddhism as the state religion. on the fertile plain of the Tonle Sap (‘great lake’). was constructed around 1186 at the peak of the empire by Jayavarman VII. 112 . medicine. childbirth and commerce. On this hill in AD 802 Jayavarman II declared himself first devaraja (‘god king’) of a united Khmer state and founded Mahendraparvata. 5 Engulfed by nature The Buddhist monastery of Ta Prohm. picturesquely overwhelmed by the roots and tendrils of kapok trees. GETTY IMAGES and was the administrative centre for a highly organised healthcare system that included 102 hospitals across the kingdom. JOURNEYS Wonders of the World Life imitates art In c889 King Ya´sovarman I moved his capital to Ya´sodharapura. 25 miles north-east of Angkor Wat.740 officials. This particular one depicts a fish market. Those on the Bayon (see ‘Face value’. L Establishing an empire These time-worn stone animals at Srah Damrei (‘elephant pond’) are among the treasures of Phnom Kulen.

The Civilization of Angkor by Charles Higham (Weidenfeld & Nicolson. enigmatic faces – each representing crossed by five bridges. involving canals and huge barays (reservoirs). writer and 2004) Jungle Atlantis.” that the empire collapsed following its sacking by Siamese forces in 1431. which also revealed vast cities Paul Bloomfield is a travel and heritage hidden beneath fields and forests. is available to buy at store. as recounted by Diogo do The Bayon. The Portuguese Capuchin friar Antonio da Magdalena gave a detailed account of his visit to the (by then. built in the late 12th century. 2003) Angkor and the Khmer Civilization by Michael D Coe (Thames and Hudson. But new research using airborne laser scanning technolo- gy. co-author of several suggests Angkor’s complex water Lonely Planet books about adventure travel management system. adorned with 216 Couto: “The city is surrounded by a moat. L Guarded by gods Jayavarman VII’s grandiose walled city Angkor Thom. these temples built in the late 12th and early 13th and other things were built by the order of centuries. Their ears are all and possibly also Jayavarman VII pierced and are very long… There are written – was Angkor’s last major temple. Historians long believed 20 kings over a period of 700 years. a BBC TV series on Angkor. ALAMY/GETTY IMAGES may have been unable to cope with DISCOVER MORE long-term climatic (UK only) 113 . These have on each side a bodhisattva (enlightened being) a cordon held by giants. A 100-metre-long causeway to the south gate is guarded by these 54 stone gods and 54 demons. covered 9 square kilometres and was protected by 8-metre-high stone walls. \ Face value ruined) city in 1586. lines which record that this city.

the nation state became the wisdom as may guide our desires and to help weave together his narrative: for dominant lens for all (but particularly actions”. ist. hunger for the global dried up. There of the oscillating popularity of his own a universal project that sought to was now little room for a global per. d required a historical focus bounded Sir Walter Ralegh wrote that the Ralegh’s historical approach linked by that state’s nascent borders to help purpose of his History of the Worldd was independent but near-simultaneous construct a sense of national identity. Could these be During this time. expanded: global history for global times. course. the catastrophic michaelscottweb. This was frame for knowledge acquisition. countries for stricter border control and imprisoned in the Tower of London. almost as quickly 2015–16 migration movement into Eu- parts of the planet. boundaries of the world would be – as It was not long. for the future of the EU project following The 15th and particularly 16th Britain’s exit. “to teach by example of times past such events from different geographical areas In turn. of if we lost our interest in the global before. broadcaster and they were being at the time – rapidly imperial ventures of the 19th century associate professor at the University of Warwick. and the main forewarned is forearmed. his interest turned to emergence of the modern nation state. largely be. of course. And the ter Ralegh – one of those exploring new Crucially. And the lesson lived in the same age as Moses. the first Such a new entity as the modern nation human desire for a global outlook? volume of his History of the World. the impetus to create this new could we do so again – and what kind of magazine. his message was: instance. that also underpin our current interest in global history. Cromwell recommended it to his son – in the world – one much more isolation- proach to history was required. But stories such as that of Ralegh’s And with it has come a thirst for a more History of the Worldd do beg the question: global view of history – providing. however. future leaders for an age in which the bonded together humanity. a new and much bigger ap. cause of the industrial revolution and the more isolationist politics. it once again lost it. thanks to and many European politicians worry changing world perceptions and events. he observed that Prometheus western) historical writing. The US 2016 presidential centuries was an age of great exploration election was. in many ways. we are going strands of history. world wars of the 20th century prompted DISCOVER MORE but the published volume was extremely many to look for ways to remind people Michael Scott’s new series Italy’s Invisible popular: 10 editions were printed just how much humanity had always Cities (BBC One) and Michael Scott’s Sicily between 1614 and 1687. Column Michael Scott’s Global Connections “The emergence of the nation state left little room for a global perspective that prioritised connections between nations” t can easily feel as if the another. precisely because of its global outlook. in order to prepare between nations and the similarities that to have to fight for Ralegh’s history were never completed. another more connected. Sir Wal. work of history is simple: if we want to highlight connections between different spective that prioritised the connections keep our global perspective. In essence. War – has prompted calls in numerous spent the years between 1603 and 1616 Tastes in history changed. when not defending as Ralegh’s universal history project had rope – the biggest since the Second World England from the Spanish Armada – gained popularity. before the Michael Scott is an author. And for a new and much different visions for America’s future role bigger world. And soon after that. and even Oliver owed to peaceful interaction with one (BBC Two) are due to air early in 2017 in the UK 114 ILLUSTRATION BY ELEANOR SHAKESPEARE . But at times like these it’s politics and sense of self could provoke it? worth remembering that we have been The Guardian newspaper called the UK here before – and that back then our Brexit vote “a rejection of globalisation”. about very and discovery. rather than conflict – efforts I globalisation that has defined the 20th and now 21st centuries is irreversible. early symptoms of another decline in the writing history – to be specific. provided a new impetus for global learn. See details of his books and TV work: The remaining four volumes of ing.


its name is the root of the term ‘Korea’ ” A statue of the Buddha Amitabha flanked by two attendants. “By the time these pieces were made. the Goryeo dynasty controlled most of the peninsula. from a major exhibition of art from the Korean peninsula. Find out more in our feature starting on page 68 ISSUE 2 FEB/MAR 2017 .