War and peace


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Values and beliefs
ISIS is a revolution

All world-altering revolutions are born in danger and death, brotherhood and joy. How can this one be stopped?

Scott Atran

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Cultures and 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

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War and peace
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

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War and peace
How evil happens

Why some people choose to do evil remains a puzzle, but are we starting to understand how this behaviour is triggered?

Noga Arikha

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Religion
Monks with guns

Westerners think that Buddhism is about peace and non-violence. So how come Buddhist monks are in arms against Islam?

Michael Jerryson

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Politics and government
Anti-anti-communism

Millions of Russians and eastern Europeans now believe that they were better off under communism. What does this signify?

Kristen R Ghodsee & Scott Sehon

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Cities
The intimacy of crowds

Crowds aren’t really crazed – they are made of highly co-operative individuals driven to shared interests and goals

Michael Bond

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History
A much-maligned Mughal

The great king Aurangzeb is among the most hated men in Indian history. A historian claims he’s been unjustly demonised

Audrey Truschke

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The ancient world
Boudica the warrior queen

How a widowed queen became a rebel warrior, defying Roman patriarchy, and leading her people to glory even in defeat

Caitlin C Gillespie

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Gender
Clothes and daggers

British missionaries hated the sari; US feminists would ban the burqa. Why do empires care so much about women’s clothes?

Rafia Zakaria

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War and peace
The unforgiven

When soldiers kill in war, the secret shame and guilt they bring back home can destroy them

Kevin Sites

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Gender and identity
The weaponised loser

Mass shootings have one thing in common: toxic masculinity. Where does it come from and what can be done to stop it?

Stephen T Asma

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The ancient world
The Masada mystery

Have archaeologists proven the ancient tale of mass suicide in the Judaean desert or twisted science for political end?

Eric H Cline

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Economic 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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War and peace
The deterrence myth

Nuclear deterrence continues to dominate international relations. Yet there is no proof it ever worked, nor that it ever will

David P Barash

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History of ideas
Return of the king

The ‘cosplay Caliphate’ of ISIS is a deadly fantasy, but a familiar one in the West. It feeds the same urges as Tolkien

Benjamin Dueholm

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Genetics
Haunted by history

War, famine and persecution inflict profound changes on bodies and brains. Could these changes persist over generations?

Pam Weintraub

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Evolution
Is there a war instinct?

Many evolutionists believe that humans have a drive for waging war. But they are wrong and the idea is dangerous

David P Barash

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Ethics
Ethics on the battlefield

The soldier in battle is confronted with agonising, even impossible, ethical decisions. Could studying philosophy help?

Andy Owen

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Philosophy of religion
Into nothingness

In the 1940s, Japan’s search for a national philosophy became a battle for existence. Did Zen ideas create the kamikaze?

Christopher Harding