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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the category “History”

Obama and Mandela: The Legacy Of The First Blacks

It is not easy being the first black of anything let alone the first black president of a racially fraught country. Contending with deeply entrenched pessimistic views of black leadership – being the first black president leaves little margin for error; your success as the first black is bound up with the image of an entire people which you represent. You are the vessel for their redemption and success.

Read Here – Daily Maverick

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Of Political Icons And Vandalism: A View From History

Such is the power of images that portraits of national leaders have assumed lives of their own in the present—to idealise, idolise, hammer, decapitate, replace, recolour and resurrect with changing socio-political proclivities, ideologies, and interests. Kings, emperors and pharaohs of ancient and medieval times have been replaced by modern-day political leaders, freedom fighters and nationalists of various hues. But history is witness that the inherent capacity of art to reimagine, re-image and conjure life-like personae capable of fostering an image-cult remains as true today as it was in the past.

Read Here – Herald

Did A Vodka Ban Precipitate The Russian Revolution?

And the way Forsyth tells it, drink has caused us to say yes to an awful lot. The desire for booze, he suggests, led to — among other things — fixed agriculture, civilisation, cities, Anglo-Saxon England, America and the Russian Revolution. (In 1914, the Tsar unwisely banned vodka.) It may even be the reason that we came down from the trees in the first place — because the forest floor was where to find fermented fruits.

Read Here – The Spectator

Drinking Vodka With Zhukov, Talking Basketball With Khrushchev

On July 4 Khrushchev arrived at Spasso House, the Moscow home of the American ambassador, as if he did not have a care in the world. He had begun to make a habit of dropping in on national-day receptions, his way of telling the world that a new day was dawning in the Soviet Union.

Read Here – Tablet

Egypt Revamps Cave Museum Devoted To Nazi General

An old field telephone from the 1940s, a Nazi flag and a map of Tobruk greet visitors to the newly reopened Rommel Cave Museum in Marsa Matrouh, one of Egypt’s lesser known tourist destinations. The items belonged to Erwin Rommel, one of the most celebrated generals of Nazi Germany until he was implicated in a plot to kill the Fuhrer in 1944. Rommel has long been remembered as one of the few “decent” Nazi commanders, though there is debate over his legacy of chivalry.

Read Here – Al-Monitor

15 Of The CIA’s Most Intriguing Declassified Maps

During key events in history, maps created by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have helped US presidents and their advisors make critical decisions. These maps, usually top secret, were produced by the CIA’s own Cartography Center, which was set up in 1941 to provide maps, geographic analysis and research to support the work of the Agency, the White House, senior policy-makers and the intelligence community at large.

Read Here – weforum.org

The Return Of History

An Islamic philosopher in Karachi, an ideologue who provides violent ideas to some of Pakistan’s fiercest extremist groups, once told me that there are two kinds of history: dead and living. “Dead history is something on a shelf or in a museum,” he said. “Living history is part of your consciousness, something in your blood that inspires you.”

Read Here – The New York Times

The Quest For Hitler’s Lost Treasures

A Dutch detective and Berlin police spent months searching for art commissioned by Hitler that went missing after German reunification. Officials finally recovered the dubious works in raids last week — here’s how they did it.

Read Here – Der Spiegel

Filling The Gaps In History Books

Politics in the name of religion is already being played with textbook purges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while in countries such as the United States and India, religion-inspired changes to the states’ science curricula are beginning. India retains federal control through the Central Board examinations transferring credits nationally.

Read Here – Dawn

 

Isn’t History Fascinating?

A transgender singer hits stardom in Baghdad. Officials scramble to impose order after a Kuwaiti restaurant is found to be selling cat meat. Gulf royals on an official visit to London are left marooned in a drab south London suburb because of a shortage of hotel rooms in the West End. These are some of the quirky stories hiding in nine miles of shelving at the British Library (BL) that hold the India Office Records – millions of documents recording Britain’s 350-year presence in the sub-continent.

Read Here – BBC

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