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In a time of great powers and empires, just one region of the world experienced extraordinary economic growth. How?
Omar ibn Said c1850. Digitally colourised. Omar ibn Said’s autobiography is the only known extant autobiography of a slave written in Arabic in America. It was not edited by his owner, as those of other slaves written in English were, and is therefore surmised to be more authentic. It also attests to the high level of education that existed in Africa at the time and also reveals that many Africans who were brought to the United States as slaves were followers of Islam. Public domain via the Beinecke Library/Yale University
Popular stereotypes of Islam as a prudish religion ignore rich traditions of freewheeling, explicit erotica and advice
The Death of General Wolfe (1770) by Benjamin West. Wolfe was killed during the Battle of Quebec (1759) that decided the fate of French lands in North America. Courtesy the National Gallery of Canada/Wikipedia
A view of Singapore’s central business district from a hotel along Beach Road. Much of Singapore’s recent development has been built upon land reclaimed from the sea. Photo by Sim Chi Yin/Magnum Photos
For 400 years, Americans have argued that their violence is justified while the violence of others constitutes barbarism
William Fitzhugh Brundage
Portrait of an African Man ( c1525-30), by Jan Jansz Mostaert. This is the only known portrait of a black man in early European painting. He is thought to be Christophle le More, an archer who was a member of Emperor Charles V’s bodyguard. Photo courtesy the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
There are 70 million people around the world who claim Irish ancestry. What shaped and made the great Irish emigration?
At a tea house in Kashgar’s Old City, China, 2009. Kashgar, now in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, has a rich and ancient history and was an important city on the Silk trading routes. Photo by Michael Christopher Brown, Magnum