Culture et Littérature
BBC World Histories Magazine

BBC World Histories Magazine Issue 10

BBC World Histories magazine is the new global history title from the BBC History Magazine team. Each issue, we delve into a diverse range of topics – from ancient Greek expeditions and the Aztec civilisation to the Cold War and the space race. Our team of international experts explores key historical events, remarkable personalities and the stories behind today’s headlines, taking you on a tour across centuries and continents.

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6 Numéros

dans ce numéro

2 min.

Back in our second issue, at the start of 2017, we asked if the Cold War ever really ended. Since then, tensions between Russia and the west seem only to have increased. In March, diplomats on both sides were expelled following the poisoning, suspected to have been carried out by Russian agents, of a former KGB officer in the British city of Salisbury. By mid-April, Moscow’s UN ambassador was warning that the UK “will be sorry” for its reaction to the incident, and Russia was suggesting there may be “consequences” for British, French and American military intervention in Syria. This issue, we’ve put together a package of features exploring the longer historical context of Russia’s relationship with the rest of the world. From page 14, a specially extended Big Question feature brings…

1 min.

Isobel Barber Dorset-based paper-crafter Barber created the innovative illustration on page 71 – a fine frontispiece for our guide to the 25 global history books you should read to understand today’s world. “I use layers of card and cut paper to create detailed work and miniature sets for magazines, advertising and films,” she says. Shrabani Basu The author of Victoria & Abdul – adapted into a hit 2017 film – is one of the contributors to our list of must-read books. Her choices range from epic takes on empire to studies of key episodes in India’s history. “As Pakistan and India turned on one another, violence marked both countries, causing a wound that festers today,” she writes. Joann Fletcher This issue’s trip to the ancient world comes in the form of our profile of Cleopatra,…

4 min.
a history of meddling

Since President Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, there has been a steady stream of media coverage highlighting Russia’s use of disinformation and scandal in influencing the United States presidential elections and the Brexit referendum in the UK. Yet for well over a century Washington used surprisingly similar clandestine tactics in its exercise of global power, from pacification of the Philippines in 1898 to recent cybersurveillance of European allies. The Philippines was just one of the sprawling empire of tropical islands that Washington took from Spain in 1898 – but it was the only one to challenge the US army, with guerrilla resistance and messianic revolts. Using America’s advanced information systems of telephone, telegraph and automated tabulating (using a kind of proto-supercomputer), the army formed the first field intelligence unit in its…

4 min.
the populist playbook

In 2001, in the wake of a punishing financial crisis, Thai voters elected a billionaire businessman to lead their nation. He promised to protect Thai companies from unfair foreign competition, and to put Thailand first (‘Thais Love Thais’ is the literal translation of his party’s name). He was opinionated, self-important and controversial – and also thin-skinned, lashing out at critics, particularly in the media. “If the media would pay less attention to politics, I guarantee the nation would progress impressively,” he said. Once in office, he became the subject of multiple official investigations, attempted to fire or replace any public official who investigated him, appointed his family members to high political positions, and was accused of using his office to promote his personal financial interests. Perhaps that description of personality and…

4 min.
a fractured life

It is hard to overestimate the importance of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in contemporary South Africa. Her death in April was marked by an extraordinary outpouring of grief. Newspapers carried lavish supplements. “Winnie: mother, fighter, activist, wife, feminist, revolutionary,” ran the headline across the entire front page of the Sunday edition of the Johannesburg City Press, accompanied by a striking image of her, fist raised in a defiant salute. This is the memory that many South Africans wish to preserve. Certainly, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party is determined to guard her legacy, just as it guards that of her former husband. The Mandela brand is one of the few that has not been tarnished by the rampant corruption associated with the Zuma presidency. There can be no denying her extraordinary appeal. An…

3 min.
history headlines

1 CALVERT ISLAND CANADA First steps Footprints found on the shoreline of Calvert Island, in British Columbia in Canada, are the earliest such marks yet traced in North America. Analysis suggests they date from 13,000 years ago and were made by at least three people, one of whom may have been a child. The discovery lends weight to the idea that ancient humans from Asia travelled south along the Pacific coast of North America. Although rising sea levels have often submerged evidence of such a route, the geography of Calvert Island seems to have preserved these prints. 2 VERACRUZ MEXICO Statues and statutes Two wooden statues removed from a site in Veracruz state, eastern Mexico, have been returned to the country after a lengthy legal process. The 3,000-year-old artefacts were created by the Olmec civilisation,…