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BBC World Histories MagazineBBC World Histories Magazine

BBC World Histories Magazine Issue 13

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.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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6 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time2 min.
welcome

Sometimes, we reshape the contents of this magazine in reaction to breaking news. In other instances, our long-planned themes reflect news headlines with eerie precision. Such was the case when, on 28 October, Jair Bolsonaro claimed victory in Brazil’s general election. A populist politician with extreme views on social issues including immigration and homosexuality, Bolsonaro seemed to strike a chord with a sizeable proportion of the nation’s people: he secured victory with 55% of the vote. The issue you now hold in your hands was already nearly complete by the time that result was confirmed. But it’s certainly possible to see his win as just the latest example of a global trend towards increasingly polarised politics. From the rise of Viktor Orbán in Hungary and Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland party to…

access_time1 min.
contributors

Peter Frankopan Author of bestseller The Silk Roads and a new follow-up volume, Frankopan’s Inside Story piece on page 16 explains why we need to shift our focus from recent upheavals in the west to the more radical changes taking place farther east in Asia. It’s a transformation, he argues, without historical parallel for over 500 years. Mary Fulbrook Over seven decades after the end of the Second World War, and despite a number of trials, real justice remains elusive for many perpetrators and victims of Nazi violence, as Mary Fulbrook discusses on page 72. “What historians have not done to date,” she says, “is show the specific failures of waves of prosecution.” Afua Hirsch At the centre of a storm of controversy following her 2017 newspaper column suggesting that Britain should consider felling statues…

access_time5 min.
monumental row

View-points Expert opinions on historical issues that touch today’s world Growing up as a mixed-race girl in Britain, I never read names that resembled mine in blue plaques marking sites of heritage or historical interest. I didn’t see statues of people who looked like me, nor streets named after people who had African roots, like I did. I was not particularly perplexed by this fact. It was obvious that such people had not existed in Britain’s past–or if they had, they had made no contribution worth remembering. Black people were, after all, ahistorical, colonial subjects or slaves. The glorious statues I did see in our great towns and cities commemorated men–they are almost all men–who had nothing to do with any of that part of my heritage. I believed this messaging that I…

access_time4 min.
a global heritage disaster

In September, the oldest museum in Brazil was reduced to ashes. The Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro housed collections of geology, palaeontology, botany, zoology and biological anthropology featuring more than 20 million items acquired over two centuries. In Brazil, the destruction of the National Museum sparked a discussion about the country’s colonial history and its complex relations with populations of indigenous and African descent. More importantly, it fuelled national and international debates on how economic and political challenges impact on the preservation of heritage around the world. The Palace of São Cristóvão, which housed the National Museum, was closely linked to the history of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade. Rio de Janeiro was the largest slave port in the Americas, and this palace was built on land previously occupied…

access_time4 min.
standard narratives

It’s almost like they’re embarrassed at the achievement coming from America,” said US president Donald Trump in September, commenting on the recent Neil Armstrong biopic First Man. “I think it’s a terrible thing… For that reason, I wouldn’t even want to watch the movie.” The controversy surrounding First Man has drawn attention to the question of historical accuracy in films. To many of its viewers, First Man will seem impressively accurate, with so much care taken over period detail that it’s almost distracting. By the third or fourth loving close-up of precisely historically correct 1960s beer cans, you’ve got the point. But the aspect that upset some commentators, and some Republican politicians, was one shot they felt was missing for political reasons. First Man shows Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. It…

access_time4 min.
how was modern japan really made?

On 26 November 1868, Emperor Mutsuhito–who would come to be known by his posthumous name, Meiji–entered Edo Castle, escorted by 3,300 daimyo (feudal lords), princes, courtiers, retainers and samurai. Edo was renamed Tokyo (‘Eastern Capital’), and Edo Castle became the Imperial Palace. This Meiji Restoration, as it was called, was long portrayed as a near-bloodless transition in which feudal shoguns were replaced by forward-thinking young modernisers. But in recent years, scholars have been re-examining the causes, what really happened, whether it had to happen the way it did, and how modern Japan evolved from it. This research reveals a classic example of history being written by the victors. The incident that sparked this seismic shift in power is well documented: the arrival in 1853 of American gunships under Commodore Matthew Perry, who…

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