Category Archives: Politics

“Is it Time to Rethink Our Ideas About Preserving World Heritage?” A Provocative Question in Dire Times

AN Forum

The Financial Times’ recent article, “Is It Time to Rethink Our Ideas About Preserving World Heritage?” by Jonathan Foyle, explores whether in the face of the ongoing destruction of cultural heritage from natural disasters and “human aggression, theft and errors of judgment,” new ways of preserving our heritage should be sought. Continue reading

Qin Shi Huang’s China: The Secret Tomb of the First Chinese Emperor Remains an Unopened Treasure

A kneeling crossbowman from the Terracotta Army assembled for the tomb complex of Qin Shi Huang (r. 221–210 BC)

A kneeling crossbowman from the Terracotta Army assembled for the tomb complex of Qin Shi Huang (r. 221–210 BC)

The history of China can be likened to a majestic tapestry threaded with innovative technologies and embellished with the exquisite artifacts of a prolific culture. Intertwined in this more than 4,000-year-old history are the wars and periods of peace that have lent definition to the complex evolution of this most populous modern nation. Continue reading

How Advertising Helped Write History, Part 2

Uncle Sam

Don’t miss Part 1 of this fascinating series! And now, on to Part 2…

Winning wars

During the World Wars in the twentieth century, often a simple poster with a powerful message was enough to persuade people to do their patriotic and moral duty. Here are a few key advertisements that made history and could have tipped the scales towards victory. Continue reading

ISIS, Syria and the Eradication of Culture: As the Ancient World Falls, Efforts Mount to Save World Heritage

AN Forum

ISIS has reportedly bulldozed the ancient city of Nimrud.

ISIS has reportedly bulldozed the ancient city of Nimrud.

You’ve probably seen the reports of destruction coming out of the Middle East. You’ve certainly heard of ISIS and its reign of terror. The loss of life and the horrifying atrocities being committed against innocent people are splashed across every news network. But ISIS is doing more than taking individual lives. The group is bent on annihilating ancient culture and what it represents. This part of the news story may not have caught everyone’s eye, but it is a desperately important part of that story. Continue reading

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In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

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A Primer on Democracy: Where to Learn More

I_Voted_Sticker“Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. ” –Reinhold Niebuhr [1]

Today is voting day for the general mid-term elections in the United States. In honor of Americans flexing their right to vote we’ve put together a list of great sites to visit to learn more about democracy throughout history. Continue reading

Celebrating National Coffee Day: A Jittery Goat, Political Plots, Slave Labor, Grounds for Divorce—The Coffee Bean Brews Up a Tumultuous World History

The inimitable coffee bean. Lusciously colored, smooth, glistening, fragrant. It’s a devilish addiction shared by millions of people throughout history. But aside from its robust flavor and energized boost, the bean has given us a history that is eye-opening and colorful, just like the bean itself.  Let’s take a step back in time and review a few facts drawn from the nefarious and splendiferous legacy of this enduring brew.

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National Anthems: Ancient Elements, Modern Resoundings

The_Star-Spangled_BannerLast Sunday, September 14th, was the 200th anniversary of the writing of the United States’ national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.  Inspired by the raising of the American flag at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, which signified a major victory by the Americans over the British during the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key penned a homage to the “broad stripes and bright stars” he saw that night. This year, people celebrated across the land with concerts dedicated to the music of the United States. Continue reading

A Brief History of the Timeless Dilemma of Censorship and America’s Response

Image courtesy of Tyler Menezes on Flickr.

Image courtesy of Tyler Menezes on Flickr.

The life of Socrates is in the hands of 500 reticent jurors. He stands trial for poisoning the minds of Athenian youth and inspiring rebellion with anti-democratic teachings. Silently, the jurors cast their ballots into one of two urns that represent guilt or innocence…

Socrates was found guilty and sentenced to death. Shielding the public from dangerous ideas outweighed one man’s right to free expression on the scales of Athenian justice. Throughout history, society’s weighing of public good against individual rights has shaped the history of censorship. It’s a dilemma both ancient and familiar. Continue reading

The Influence of Ancient War Monuments on Their Modern Equivalents Part I: Ancient Rome

Yasukuni Shrine, Japan.

Yasukuni Shrine, Japan.

When one wanders through any major city in our day and age, it is possible to cast one’s eyes over various monuments of war erected by the city, such as the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the al-Shaheed Monument in Baghdad and the Yasukuni Shrine in Japan. However, when gazing over these war monuments, one does not instantly think of the influences of earlier times and creations that were integral to their design. This article, the first in a two-part series, will consider ancient Roman influence on the construction of two specific modern war monuments.[1] Continue reading