Are you setting goals for 2023? Check out our quiz for book recommendations based on your resolutions for the new year!
In the first half of the century, the three great killers among endemic diseases—smallpox, malaria, and tuberculosis—raging around the world (we think today of malaria as a tropical malady but in the 1920s there were outbreaks as far north as Siberia) were each responsible for more deaths than the 80 million who died in both world wars. Innovations stemming from the Second World War, an immense hothouse of technological progress, made it possible to contemplate combatting infectious disease on a global scale.
A Winter Breviary is a triptych of carols that tells the story of a person walking in the woods on solstice night. This pilgrim—she, he, they—searches for hope, the hope they cannot name, or hear or see. And still, they walk deeper and deeper into the dark.
Do you need some inspiration for your New Year’s resolutions? If you’re in a resolution rut and feeling some of that winter gloom, then you’re not alone. To help you on your way to an exciting start to 2017, we’ve enlisted the help of some of history’s greatest literary and philosophical figures–on their own resolutions, and inspiring thoughts for the New Year.
Over the past decade the philanthropic ideology of Effective Altruism has grown massively both in attracting funds and in influencing young people to try to make as much money as they can and give most of it away. But a series of catastrophic financial hustles in the world of cryptocurrency has brought EA heightened attention and started to expose its dangers.
Sometimes the meeting of an actor and a role produces a rare kind of alchemy that forever bonds the two… and sometimes the opposite happens. The former occurred when twenty-one-year-old Barbra Streisand was cast as famed comedienne Fanny Brice in the 1964 musical Funny Girl.
When people ask me about the Salvator Mundi, just like Google, I can predict the questions they will “also ask.”
From Octavian’s victory at Actium to its traditional endpoint in the West, the Roman Empire lasted a solid 500 years—one-fifth of all recorded history. Embark on your own journey through the past with this informative timeline detailing major events within the Roman Empire.
There are a lot of peculiar phrases in Moby-Dick. My new introduction to the second Oxford World’s Classics edition of Herman Melville’s novel highlights the startling weirdness of the book, both in its literary form and its language.
When do we have a scientific fact? Scientists, policymakers, and laypersons could all use an answer to this question. But despite its obvious importance, humanity lacks a good answer.
European state-formation would have looked very different if rulers did not constantly have to negotiate with a strong clergy, independent townsmen, and the nobility over, inter alia, the wherewithal for warfare, succession and public peace. But the medieval Church shaped European societies in other ways than this. It was the one institution of late antiquity that survived the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century, and it carried the torch of the Roman world after the Empire collapsed.
Reactions to excommunication in thirteenth-century England varied considerably, but its consequences for society as well as individuals were significant. The fact that sentences needed to be publicised so that communities knew who to avoid made excommunication a valuable tool of mass communication. However, when the sanction was used unfairly or vengefully, this publicity shone a light on such abuses, with potentially damaging consequences for the church.
Science skepticism is a central threat to deliberative democracy. Generally speaking, scientific investigations based on collaboration between scientific experts are far more reliable than individual efforts when it comes to finding the truth about complex matters. So, since public deliberation is better off when it rests on science, deliberative democracy requires a reasonably high degree of public uptake of science communication.
In 1842, The US brig Somers, commanded by Alexander Slidell Mackenzie was the site of what may have been the only planned mutiny in the US Navy’s history. The repercussions of the Somers Affair had long felt effects, and inspired Herman Melville’s Billy Budd.
Boss Tweedborn—William Magear Tweed—and the “Tweed Ring” comprised of 20 aldermen and 20 assistant alderman in Tamanay Hall dominated New York politics for profit in the second half of the 1800s.
Discovering the provenance of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi formed a significant part of the book that I co-authored with Margaret Dalivalle and Martin Kemp. Determining which records and references pertained to the original and which to the many copies and derivations of the painting required the unraveling of dozens of documentary threads, intertwined and occasionally knotted, stretching across the centuries.