Tag Archives: history

Khazaria: A Forgotten Jewish Empire

Khazaria: A Forgotten Jewish Empire


With the break-up of the Soviet Union and the troubles prevalent in the Balkans there has been much renewed interest in the early history of Eastern Europe. Troubles have fuelled nationalist tendencies in the region and there has been much talk of an Orthodox-Catholic (East-West) Christian and Islamic divide, which has a well- documented history and which historians are retracing.

Akhenaten: A Different Pharaon

Akhenaten: A Different Pharaon

At some point around 1375 BC (Egyptian chronology is not yet an exact science) a flotilla made its way along the Nile. It contained the migrating royal court, or at least the royal family, and the purpose of the journey was to found a new capital. This sort of thing was not unknown in the ancient Near East, but the sequel to this particular voyage was unprecedented. A series of boundary stelae marks the spot to this day, a semi-circular bay in the cliffs of the eastern desert, some 200 miles south of modern Cairo.

The Bay of Pigs: The Unsuccessful Invasion

The Bay of Pigs: The Unsuccessful Invasion

On the night of April 16th and 17th, 1961, 1,400 armed men on board a flotilla of small boats and landing-craft approached Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) on the southern coast of Cuba. ‘Brigade 2506’ was mainly Cuban, with a handful of ‘North Americans’ (US citizens in Cuba-speak), refugees from the regime headed by Fidel Castro, which had overthrown the pro-US caudillo Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar 27 months earlier. The brigade’s goal was to oust Castro and the Fidelistas. Within three days, more than three quarters of them had been captured and more than 100 killed.

Book Review: The Legacy of the Italian Resistance by Philip Cooke

Book Review: The Legacy of the Italian Resistance by Philip Cooke

The Legacy of the Italian Resistance
Philip Cooke
Palgrave Macmillan

263pp £52.25

Between 1943 and 1945 thousands of Italian men and women took part in what became known as ‘The Resistance’. Many were extremely young and most of those who died at the hands of the Italian Fascists and the Nazis were in their teens or early twenties.

The War Horses of the Western Front

The War Horses of the Western Front

Michael Morpurgo’s popular novel War Horse (1982) has rightly been referred to as ‘the Black Beauty of the Great War’. Like Anna Sewell’s classic of 1877, the story unfolds from the perspective of the horse, a device that allows the author to explore the world of those voiceless but sentient creatures and invites us to reflect upon both the misery they have suffered at our hands and the compelling call of compassion that can transcend the boundaries of ‘human’ and ‘animal’.