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Essay/
History
Slavery-entangled philosophy

John Locke took part in administering the slave-owning colonies. Does that make him, and liberalism itself, hypocritical?

Holly Brewer

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History
The big squeeze

Sicily’s mafia sprang from the growing global market for lemons – a tale with sour parallels for consumers today

Ola Olsson

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Education
A wild muddle

The ethical formation of citizens was once at the heart of the US elite college. Has this moral purpose gone altogether?

Chad Wellmon

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History
The real Battle of Vienna

In 1683 an Ottoman siege was repelled from the walls of Vienna. But it was far from a fight between Islam and Christendom

Dag Herbjørnsrud

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Gender & Sexuality
The revolutionary sex

For one shining moment, being a Russian woman meant sexual freedom and radical equality. Never seen before – or since

Paula Erizanu

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Politics & Government
How nations come together

Nations come with a vast array of peoples, languages and histories, but the strong ones share three simple things

Andreas Wimmer

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History
The forgotten prophet

Radical Quaker Benjamin Lay was a pioneer of abolitionism, who lived what he preached. So why was he erased from history?

Marcus Rediker

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Stories & Literature
Communist robot dreams

Tech flourished in communist Bulgaria and so did a body of science fiction asking vital philosophical questions

Victor Petrov

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Cities
A metropolitan world

Urbanisation might be the most profound change to human society in a century, more telling than colour, class or continent

Michael Goebel

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History
Phantasmic Phoenicia

The British, Irish and Lebanese have all claimed descent from the ancient Phoenicians. But ancient Phoenicia never existed

Josephine Quinn

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Work
The last whalers

Men from the Shetland Islands worked the whaling expeditions to the Antarctic. Until the whales were gone

Lyndsie Bourgon