Cultuur & Literatuur
BBC World Histories Magazine

BBC World Histories Magazine Issue 12

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 Edities

in deze editie

2 min.

The idea of European union has a long, complex and contested history, one that’s again come under scrutiny since the Brexit vote in 2016. An idealistic industrial and economic postwar collaboration begun as a reaction to the devastation of the Second World War, the idea of greater and formalised European integration has attracted both supporters and critics throughout its existence. Now encompassing a total population of more than 500 million, the EU is – depending on your view – a supranational project of unparalleled ambition or an increasingly outmoded relic of another time and another political reality. Of course, there are also those who maintain that the concept was wrongheaded from the very start. This issue, we asked our expert writers to consider the forces that have shaped Europe socially and politically…

1 min.

PE Caquet In our Perspectives article on page 64, historian PE Caquet explores the impasse in Czechoslovakia that led to Neville Chamberlain’s infamous 1938 Munich Agreement with Hitler. “The issues were not merely Sudeten German rights, but the security of Czechoslovakia and, beyond that, the very fate of Europe,” he explains. Seymour Hersh “I always had a streak of not wanting to accept the diktat of editors,” says Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hersh. On page 44 he recalls 50 years of reporting on stories such as the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King, who would “give me a lot of good quotes… I guess you could call it love at first sight.” Heidi Maurer As the UK prepares to leave the EU, on page 16 we ask experts including Maurer, fellow in…

4 min.
radical reflections

The world exploded in 1968. Early in the year, the Tet Offensive launched by the Viet Cong shook the South Vietnamese government and its American allies. In China, the Cultural Revolution was hurtling ahead – though those in the west who labelled themselves Maoists rarely understood the violence and repression of the regime for which they professed admiration. All of this tied in with protest movements in Europe and North America. Sometimes these were fuelled by opposition to the Vietnam War – though, paradoxically, protesters often attacked governments (notably that of General de Gaulle in France) that were themselves opposed to US policy in Vietnam. Meanwhile, the civil rights movement in the American south, and a renewed awareness in West Germany of the older generation’s implication in the Nazi past, stoked youthful…

4 min.
awaiting the new cuba

If Graham Greene and Carol Reed were filming Our Man in Havana (1959) today, its famous rooftop opening scene would not be at the Hotel Capri. Six decades on it would more likely be shot at the Hotel Manzana, the city’s latest luxury spot. The camera would swoop across its shimmering infinity pool towards the imposing dome of the Capitolio, recently recoated with gold. The lens would then seek out the nearby statue of Cuba’s independence hero José Martí (1853–95), scrubbed spotless and surrounded by flowerbeds as part of a grand clean-up around this glamorous hotel that occupies an entire block on the edge of Old Havana. But the high-spending Americans this opulence was aimed at have not poured onto the island as expected. A renowned pleasure-seeker, Greene was first drawn…

4 min.
america first (human rights last)?

It was, proclaimed Eleanor Roosevelt, “the international Magna Carta of all men everywhere”. The former First Lady of the United States made this claim about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in an address to the United Nations General Assembly after it adopted the UDHR on 10 December 1948. Conceived in reaction to the atrocities of the Second World War, the UDHR is the foundational text of the modern human rights movement. Although not legally binding, it established new international norms for the protection and promotion of individual liberties. Its principles are codified in the constitutions and laws of 90 nations and underpin the mission statements of many campaign groups including Amnesty International. So why, in the year we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the UDHR, are there such widespread concerns about…

3 min.
history headlines

1 GREENLAND Tusk traders DNA studies of walrus ivory may reveal why Vikings settled on the inhospitable island of Greenland. Researchers found that the vast majority of walrus ivory used in medieval Europe between 1100 and 1400 originated from Greenland walruses. It’s thought that Norse settlers on the island relied on the tusk trade with Europe to obtain key resources; the collapse of this trade may have contributed to the dissolution of Norse communities on Greenland by the 15th century. 2 NEW YORK UNITED STATES Memoir material rediscovered ‘Lost’ sections of Malcolm X’s autobiography have been sold at auction. The controversial passages – including a previously unseen 25-page chapter – were cut from the US human-rights activist’s manuscript before it was published in the 1960s. Covered in notes, pages reveal his heated debates over content…