Decolonising the British Museum: where do we start?

If you say yes to one, you suddenly find the British Museum would be empty. It is going to have to stay put. (David Cameron, asked to return the Koh-i-Noor diamond to India in 2010) It’s been a year of reckoning with power. #MeToo, of course, but also an interesting (if small) exhibition at Birmingham […]

Betsy Ross and Rosie the Riveter: Mothers of America

The legend of Betsy Ross is a well-documented one, known by every American. The story goes that George Washington, William Morris and George Ross – representatives of the Continental Congress – arrived at Betsy’s house requesting her skills to make a new standard for the British colonies. While the stars and stripes design had already […]

Mr Five Per Cent: The Forgotten Oil Tycoon

When we think of modern history’s most notable business leaders, names of Western businessmen such as Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller and Bill Gates immediately spring to mind. However, arguably one of the most influential and historically overlooked business minds of the twentieth century hailed from the Middle East. Calouste Sarkin Gulbenkian, otherwise known as […]

The Lesser-known Atomic Bomb Testing: The tragedy of Maralinga

The nuclear testing of Maralinga was, and remains to a lesser articulated example of the nuclear atrocities conducted by the Western superpowers of the 20th Century. Coordinated by the British Royal Commissioners in Nuclear Testing, with the permission from the Australian Government, the British tested their nuclear weapons on the Anangu County and discarded the […]

How fear of conspiracy shapes US politics

JFK, the moon landing, Area 51. A tragically short-lived president, a globally acknowledged pinnacle of scientific achievement, and a key site during the height of Cold War tension and technological competition.

Gracchus Babeuf – the would-be communist dictator of France?

Upon hearing the word ‘communism’ or the phrase ‘socialist revolution’, in our popular approaches we tend to be drawn to the twentieth century as a point of departure; to the oppressive communist dictatorships of leaders such as Lenin, Stalin or Mao.