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Britain, France, and their roads from empire

After the Second World War ended in 1945, Britain and France still controlled the world’s two largest colonial empires, even after the destruction of the war. Their imperial territories extended over four continents. And what’s more, both countries seemed to be absolutely determined to hold on their empires: the roll-call of British and French politicians, soldiers, settlers and writers who promised to defend their colonial possessions at all costs is a long one. But despite that, within just twenty years, both empires had vanished.

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Threshold Collaborative: a lesson in engaged story work

By Alisa Del Tufo
Stories are powerful ways to bring the voice and ideas of marginalized people into endeavors to restore justice and enact change. Beginning in the early 1990s, I started using oral history to bring the stories and experiences of abused women into efforts to make policy changes in New York City.

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Colorful spiders?

By Rainer Foelix
Spiders are not exactly renowned for being colorful animals. Admittedly, most of the more than 40,000 spider species are rather drab looking. However, there are certainly several hundred species which are lively colored, e. g. bright red or bright green, and some are very colorful indeed.

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Women of 20th century music

Women musicians push societal boundaries around the world, while hitting all the right notes. In honor of Women’s History Month, Oxford University Press is testing your knowledge about women musicians. Take the quiz and see if you’re a shower singer or an international composer!

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The ADHD explosion: How much do you know about the disorder?

The push for performance has never been higher. Students today are faced with a grueling course load, extra-curriculars, and standardized tests. In the wake of this competitive atmosphere, the United States has seen a spike in both ADHD diagnoses and increased demand for prescription medicine. But who’s to blame?

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Female artists and politics in the civil rights movement

In the battle for equal rights, many Americans who supported the civil rights movement did not march or publicly protest. They instead engaged with the debates of the day through art and culture. Ruth Feldstein, author of How it Feels to Be Free: Black Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement, joined us in our New York offices to discuss the ways in which culture became a battleground and to share the stories of the female performers who played important but sometimes subtle roles in the civil rights movement.

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A record-breaking lunar impact

On 11 September 2013, an unusually long and bright impact flash was observed on the Moon. Its peak luminosity was equivalent to a stellar magnitude of around 2.9. What happened? A meteorite with a mass of around 400 kg hit the lunar surface at a speed of over 61,000 kilometres per hour.

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Have you heard? Oxford DNB releases 200th episode in biography podcast

By Philip Carter
Way back in 2007, when Twittering truly was for the birds, a far-sighted editor at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography piped up: maybe people would like to listen as well as read? So was devised the Oxford DNB‘s biography podcast which this week released its 200th episode—the waggerly tale of Charles Cruft (1852-1938), founder of the eponymous dog show held annually in early March.

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“You’ll be mine forever”: A reading of Ovid’s Amores

Amores was Ovid’s first complete work of poetry, and is one of his most famous. The poems in Amores document the shifting passions and emotions of a narrator who shares Ovid’s name, and who is in love with a woman he calls Corinna. In these excerpts, we see two sides of the affair — a declaration of love, and a hot afternoon spent with Corinna. Our poet here is Jane Alison, author of Change Me: Stories of Sexual Transformation from Ovid, a new translation of Ovid’s love poetry.

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African American demography [infographic]

In celebration of Black History Month, Social Explorer has put together an interactive infographic with statistics from the most recent Census and American Community Survey. Dig into the data to find out about current African American household ownership, employment rates, per capita income, and more demographic information.

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The great Oxford World’s Classics debate

By Kirsty Doole
Last week the Oxford World’s Classics team were at Blackwell Bookshop in Oxford to witness the first Oxford World’s Classics debate. Over three days we invited seven academics who had each edited and written introductions and notes for books in the series to given a short, free talk in the shop. This then culminated in an evening event in Blackwell’s famous Norrington Room where we held a balloon debated, chaired by writer and academic Alexandra Harris.

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Frank Close on the Higgs boson

In 2013, the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded jointly to François Englert and Peter W. Higgs for their work on what is now commonly known as the Higgs field and the Higgs boson. The existence of this fundamental particle, responsible for the creation of mass, was confirmed by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in 2012.

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The world’s revolutions [infographic]

How many revolutions have there been in the world’s history? Are they all violent? As revolutions around the world continue to make front page news, we asked Jack Goldstone, author of Revolutions: A Very Short Introduction, to help us pull together a timeline of the revolutions that have shaped the world.

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Common Core Standards, universal pre-K, and educating young readers

Parents and educators everywhere want to introduce children to the world of reading, but the task of helping a child become an independent reader is increasingly difficult and daunting. How can you create a love for reading and learning with stories, lessons, and activities while also supporting reading development? Book Smart: How to Develop and Support Successful, Motivated Readers, written by Anne E. Cunningham, PhD and Jamie Zibulsky, PhD, serves as a how-to guide for parents as they navigate through the uncertainties of teaching their children to read.

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At the launch of Nothing Like a Dame

On Monday, 27 January 2014, the lobby of Oxford University Press’s New York City office was filled with Broadway fans, and a few stars, drinking champagne in celebration of the publication of Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations With the Great Women of Musical Theater by Eddie Shapiro.

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Who shapes the history of the British Isles?

From politicians to psychiatrists, novelists to biologists, and actors to entrepreneurs, the January 2014 update of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography adds a further 219 biographies of men and women who’ve made their mark on British history.

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