She entered the brothel business without apology and set out to become the best madam in America
April 12, 2012 | By Karen Abbott
The Dalai Lama is one of the world's most revered religious leaders, but that didn't prevent four holders of the office from dying under mysterious circumstances
April 10, 2012 | By Mike Dash
As polio ravaged patients worldwide, two gifted American researchers developed distinct vaccines against it. Then the question was: Which one to use?
April 03, 2012 | By Gilbert King
“Kipper und Wipper”: Rogue Traders, Rogue Princes, Rogue Bishops and the German Financial Meltdown of 1621-23
It is tempting to think of the German hyperinflation of 1923 as a uniquely awful event, but it pales in comparison to what happened in the 17th century.
March 29, 2012 | By Mike Dash
The Big Easy's red light district had plenty of tawdriness going on—except when Ernest J. Bellocq was taking photographs of prostitutes
March 28, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Custom in the Ottoman Empire mandated that a condemned grand vizier could save his neck if he won a sprint against his executioner
March 22, 2012 | By Mike Dash
His 20-volume masterwork was hailed as "the most ambitious enterprise in publishing since the production of the King James Bible"—and he paid dearly for his ambition
March 21, 2012 | By Gilbert King
In 1887, a painter was inspired by an idea: commemorate the everyday heroism of men, women and children who had lost their lives trying to save another's
March 19, 2012 | By Mike Dash
"Don't talk to me about X-rays," Edison said after an assistant on one of his X-ray projects started showing signs of illness. "I am afraid of them."
March 14, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Even before there were roads, there were men who wanted to drive fast.
March 07, 2012 | By Karen Abbott
The massacre almost brought the United States to war against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but only one man was brought to trial: John D. Lee
February 29, 2012 | By Gilbert King
The man who brought The King to global fame kept his own past secret. But what exactly was Tom Parker hiding?
February 24, 2012 | By Mike Dash
The deadliest disaster in New York before 9/11 killed many women and children and ultimately erased a German community from the map of Manhattan.
February 21, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Sir Basil Zaharoff was the archetypal "merchant of death"—an arms salesman who made a career out of selling to both sides in a conflict and stood accused of starting World War I for his personal profit.
February 16, 2012 | By Mike Dash
The officer who gained glory as a warrior in the Civil War also had a domestic side.
February 14, 2012 | By Gilbert King
The secret of Glamis Castle—a concealed room, a hidden heir—was one of the great talking points of the 19th century. But will the mystery ever be resolved?
February 10, 2012 | By Mike Dash
The plot to kill Michael Malloy for life-insurance money seemed foolproof—until the conspirators actually tried it
February 07, 2012 | By Karen Abbott
Two centuries after his birth, the novelist is still wildly popular, as a theme park, a new movie and countless festivals attest
February 2012 | By Joshua Hammer
In 1930, many football fans believed the college game was better than the professional one
January 31, 2012 | By Gilbert King
A century ago, Douglas Mawson saw his two companions die and found himself stranded in the midst of Antarctic blizzards.
January 27, 2012 | By Mike Dash