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Latest Popular

Anthropology Cities Demography & Migration Economics Education Fairness & Equality Gender History Human Rights Law & Justice Nature & Environment Politics & Government Poverty & Development Progress & Modernity Race Religion The Future War & Conflict Work
Cultures & Languages
English is not normal

No, English isn’t uniquely vibrant or mighty or adaptable. But it really is weirder than pretty much every other language

John McWhorter

Family Life
Lock up your wives!

Advice columns from decades past provide a chilling glimpse into the horrors of marriage counselling before feminism

Rebecca Onion

Cultures & Languages
The invasion of America

The story of Native American dispossession is too easily swept aside, but new visualisations should make it unforgettable

Claudio Saunt

Return of the city-state

Nation-states came late to history, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest they won’t make it to the end of the century

Jamie Bartlett

How Europe became so rich

In a time of great powers and empires, just one region of the world experienced extraordinary economic growth. How?

Joel Mokyr

Slaves or wage slaves

Incentives, rewards, bonuses and bonding experiences – Roman slaveowners were the first management theorists

Jerry Toner

Christians were strangers

How an obscure oriental cult in a corner of Roman Palestine grew to become the dominant religion of the Western world

Michael Kulikowski

War & Conflict
The legend of the Legion

His cap is bleached as white as the bones of a Saharan camel. Is the romance of the French Foreign Legion a cult of death?

Robert Twigger

Return of the oppressed

From the Roman Empire to our own Gilded Age, inequality moves in cycles. The future looks like a rough ride

Peter Turchin

Do civilisations collapse?

The idea that the Maya or Easter Islanders experienced an apocalyptic end makes for good television but bad archaeology

Guy D Middleton

Gender & Sexuality
A handy history

Condemned, celebrated, shunned: masturbation has long been an uncomfortable fact of life. Why?

Barry Reay

Drugs du jour

LSD in the ’60s; ecstasy in the ’80s; ‘smart’ drugs today: how we get high reflects the desires and fears of our times

Cody Delistraty

Beauty & Aesthetics
The sea was never blue

The Greek colour experience was made of movement and shimmer. Can we ever glimpse what they saw when gazing out to sea?

Maria Michela Sassi

Stories & Literature
Bookish fools

The book has always been a sign of status and refinement; a declaration of self-worth – even for those who hate to read

Frank Furedi

Childhood & Adolescence
The end of adolescence

In the 20th century it offered a bridge from the innocence of childhood to the responsibilities of adult life. Not any more

Paula S Fass

Political Philosophy
Theory from the ruins

The Frankfurt School argued that reason is dangerous, mass culture deadening, and the Enlightenment a disaster. Were they right?

Stuart Walton

Medieval graffiti

Graffiti on the walls of Europe’s old churches reveals the real Middle Ages – a world far removed from knights and damsels

Matthew Champion

The salacious Middle Ages

Medieval people feared death by celibacy as much as venereal disease, and practiced complex sexual health regimens

Katherine Harvey