History Lesson


The House of Habsburg, Revisited

Nearly a century after its spectacular demise, why Europe's most embarrassing anachronism is making a comeback.

Simon Winder |


JFK’s Greatest Legacy

America has spent 50 years asking, "What if?"

Michael Cohen |


How the Beirut Bombing Spawned the Modern Surveillance State

A 1983 terror attack caught the U.S. with its eyes closed. It swore to keep watching and watching and watching.

Shane Harris |


Rogue State

Think Israel wouldn't strike Iran's nukes in defiance of America's wishes? Think again.

Uri Sadot |


Return to the Bad Old Days

Will Egypt’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood fan the embers of Islamic insurgency?

Steven A. Cook |


Bad Manners

The seven-decade-old slight that still poisons U.S.-China relations.

Rana Mitter |


Speaking with the Enemy

What Ho Chi Minh can teach us about bringing peace to Afghanistan.

Lawrence Korb |


Silent Shuttle

If John Kerry wants to make peace in the Middle East, he's going to need some Kissinger mojo.

Bruce van Voorst |


Detroit’s Quixotic Bid to Host the United Nations

What if the U.N.'s headquarters had been on Lake St. Clair instead of the East River?

Charlene Mires |


'Face' and Something 'Delicious'

What Mao and Stalin’s first awkward meeting tells us about Xi Jinping’s confident trip to see Vladimir Putin.

Sergey Radchenko |


What Richard III Can Teach Us Today

The world is grown so bad that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch. Can Shakespeare’s fallen tyrant help us set it to rights?

John Watkins |


The Songs of Angry Men

Can Les Misérables help us understand why some revolutions succeed and others barely get off the ground?

Erin M. Simpson |


North Korea Does Not Believe in Unicorns

But it does believe in promoting a fanciful version of its own history.

Isaac Stone Fish |


Egyptian Idol

The Salafi threat to blow up the pyramids is nothing new: Egypt's ambivalence toward its past dates back centuries.

Ian Straughn |


Lessons From a Forgotten War

How America’s first foray into the modern Arab world can help solve its current entanglements.

Robert Satloff |


China's Military Moment

A window of opportunity is closing in the South China Sea. Will Beijing strike?

Jim Holmes |

In Box

Requiem for a Russian Spy

A CIA veteran remembers his Soviet counterpart.

Milton Bearden |


Command and Control

Don’t read too much into the pronouncements of former Israeli security officials on Iran: Israel’s civilian leadership overrules the generals all the time.

David Makovsky |


How to Outsmart China

In its naval clash with Beijing, Manila seems to be taking its cues from a third-century Roman dictator.

James Holmes |


The Politics of Sorry

Six stations on the road to forgiveness -- and why there's no harm in President Obama apologizing to Afghanistan.

Karl E. Meyer |


When Assad Won

A bloody six-year civil war fought against Bashar al-Assad's father presents a cautionary tale for Syria's modern-day rebels.

David Kenner |


Mock Homs at Your Own Risk

The epicenter of Syria's revolt has long been the butt of jokes. But Homs may get the last laugh.

Omar Adam Sayfo |


The Unknown Unknowns

If the past half-century of American political history has taught us anything, it's that we can't possibly know the consequences of bombing -- or not bombing -- Iran.

Francis J. Gavin and James B. Steinberg |


The End of the Innocents

How America's longtime man in Southeast Asia, Jim Thompson, fought to stop the CIA's progression from a small spy ring to a large paramilitary agency -- and was never seen again.

Joshua Kurlantzick |


Waiting for Bushehr

The long wait for Iran's first nuclear power plant is finally over. It's now online, but is it ready?

Ali Vaez |


The Road to Tahrir

The roots of Egyptians' rage can be traced back to bad economic advice from the IMF -- and the crony capitalism it left behind.

Ty McCormick |


Life After Debt

In this month's market upheavals in the United States and Europe, we are witnessing the end of a seven-decade economic experiment. But does anyone have any clue what comes next?

James Macdonald |


Assassin Nation

After more than three decades of targeted killings, is there anyone left alive who can actually run Afghanistan?

Edward Girardet |


Fading Legacy

Yelena Bonner and Andrei Sakharov were giants. Why do so few Russians remember them?

David E. Hoffman |



The campaign to allow Saudi women behind the wheel has been a generation in the making.

Ebtihal Mubarak |