World History

D-Day: What Was Operation Tarbrush X?

Invasion of Normand

by Giles Milton

General Eisenhower and the architects of D-Day knew that the Allied landings would only be successful if they had up-to-the-minute information about the German coastal defenses.

They already had French spies working on their behalf—and we’ll get … Read the article

An American Journalist Under Castro’s Shadow

by David Ariosto

For David Ariosto, the island of Cuba is an intriguing new world, unmoored from the one he left behind. From neighboring military coups, suspected honey traps, salty spooks, and desperate migrants to dissidents, doctors, and Havana’s empty … Read the article

Recovering History’s Most Expensive Turtle

by Peter Laufer

The clash of old and new in Yunnan Province, China, is mind-numbing. Ancient Buddhist temples vie for attention with massive infrastructure projects around the provincial capital, Kunming: parades of towering apartment blocks, superhighways and bullet trains. One … Read the article

The Death of Kings

by Tasha Alexander

…let us sit upon the ground

And tell sad stories of the death of kings;

How some have been deposed; some slain in war,

Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;

Some poison’d by their wives: … Read the article

Bearing the Legacy of Topf and Sons

by Karen Bartlett

When Hartmut Topf was a small boy, he was captivated by puppets. On a warm summer’s day in 1930s Berlin, he would sit with his sisters under the blossom of the fruit tree in the family’s back … Read the article

The History Behind the Mystery: Maze Master

by Kathleen O’Neal Gear

A reporter once told me that our library could pass for a crime lab.  Skulls detailing the history of humanity line the shelves and perch on pedestals, beginning with a diminutive acrylic cast of Australopithecus afarensis, … Read the article