Communism

J. Edgar Hoover (second from left) stands behind Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the president signs a bill in 1934.

How World War II Helped Forge the Modern FBI

Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, J. Edgar Hoover consolidated immense power—and created the beginnings of the surveillance state

“Ulitsa Sezam” sought to teach young viewers the skills they would need to thrive in a nascent market economy, with Muppets serving as fluffy mascots of democratic values.

When the Muppets Moved to Moscow

A new book details the tangled tale of "Ulitsa Sezam," a "Sesame Street" spinoff that aired until visions of Russia's democratic future faltered

Mikhail Gorbachev died on August 30, 2022, at age 91.

The Contradictory Legacy of Mikhail Gorbachev

The Soviet leader, who died on August 30 at age 91, attempted to enact "revolution from above"

In the not-so-distant past, the Russian and American governments talked up the shared crucibles of their two mid-19th century leaders as a way of improving diplomatic relations.

Before Lincoln Issued the Emancipation Proclamation, This Russian Czar Freed 20 Million Serfs

The parallels between the U.S. president and Alexander II, both of whom fought to end servitude in their nations, are striking

The 15 freed hostages and their rescuers arrive at San José del Guaviare airport in July 2008.

The Daring Rescue Mission That Freed 15 Hostages Held in the Colombian Jungle for Years

A new exhibition at the International Spy Museum revisits Operación Jaque, a covert 2008 plot led by the Colombian military

Visitors lay wreaths at the “Square of Nations,” a memorial site at the former Flossenbürg concentration camp’s crematorium, on April 24, 2022.

History of Now

At a Former Concentration Camp, Holocaust Survivors Draw Parallels Between Nazi and Russian Rhetoric

Speakers at a ceremony marking the liberation of Flossenbürg condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims of demilitarizing and de-Nazifying Ukraine

NATO troops from a battalion based in Fort Hood, Texas, train in Germany in September 1983, two months before the Able Archer 83 drill.

The 1983 Military Drill That Nearly Sparked Nuclear War With the Soviets

Fearful that the Able Archer 83 exercise was a cover for a NATO nuclear strike, the U.S.S.R. readied its own weapons for launch

Lai Tek's espionage had geopolitical implications across Southeast Asia.

The Vietnamese Secret Agent Who Spied for Three Different Countries

Known by the alias Lai Tek, the enigmatic communist swore allegiance first to France, then Britain and finally Japan

A collage of Vladimir Putin placing his hand on Joseph Stalin's shoulder. Richard Cohen's new book Making History details the links between the two Russian leaders.

History of Now

Vladimir Putin's Rewriting of History Draws on a Long Tradition of Soviet Myth-Making

Much like Joseph Stalin, the Russian president has used propaganda, the media and government-sanctioned books to present an ahistorical narrative

Last Call at the Hotel Imperial centers on journalists Dorothy Thompson, John Gunther, H.R. Knickerbocker and Jimmy Vincent Sheean.

A Century Ago, American Reporters Foresaw the Rise of Authoritarianism in Europe

A new book tells the stories of four interwar writers who laid the groundwork for modern journalism

The debate over how to remember Ukraine's World War II history, as well as its implications for Ukrainian nationalism and independence, are key to understanding the current conflict.

History of Now

The 20th-Century History Behind Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

During WWII, Ukrainian nationalists saw the Nazis as liberators from Soviet oppression. Now, Russia is using that chapter to paint Ukraine as a Nazi nation

Workers removed the sculpture from the University of Hong Kong's campus under the cover of night.

Hong Kong Removes 'Pillar of Shame' Honoring Tiananmen Square Victims

The move arrives amid continuing crackdowns on pro-democracy protesters in the Asian city

Being the Ricardos features Nicole Kidman (left) as Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem (right) as Desi Arnaz.

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind 'Being the Ricardos'

Aaron Sorkin's new film dramatizes three pivotal moments in the lives of comedy legends Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

Officials plan to exhume the remains and establish a memorial at the site.

Mass Graves in Ukraine Hold Thousands of Victims of Stalin's Great Purge

In the late 1930s, the Soviet secret police buried some 5,000 to 8,000 people at a newly excavated site in Odessa

Researchers unearthed three Polish nuns' remains at a municipal cemetery in Orneta.

Researchers Uncover Remains of Polish Nuns Murdered by Soviets During WWII

As the Red Army pushed the Nazis out of Poland in 1945, soldiers engaged in brutal acts of repression against civilians

The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City, a 1931 mural by Mexican artist Diego Rivera, resides in an exhibition space in the San Francisco Art Institute. In a precarious financial position, the school has reportedly considered selling the mural for an estimated $50 million.

Why a California School's Potential Sale of Diego Rivera Mural Is So Controversial

Local officials are seeking landmark designation for the 1931 artwork, likely blocking the San Francisco Art Institute's plan

An illustration of the British burning Washington in 1814

History of Now

The History of Violent Attacks on the U.S. Capitol

While the building has seen politically motivated mayhem in the past, never before has a mob of insurrectionists tried to overturn a presidential election

A KGB spy pistol used by female operatives and designed to look like a tube of lipstick

You Could Own a Lipstick Gun, a Poison-Tipped Umbrella and Other KGB Spy Tools

Next February, Julien's Auctions will sell some 3,000 items from the shuttered KGB Espionage Museum's collection

The stolen items' owner estimates their value at around $645 million.

A Stolen Mao Zedong Scroll Was Found Cut in Half

Prior to the defacement, the nine-foot-long calligraphy work was valued at an estimated $300 million

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, left, and Cuban President Fidel Castro, center, are seen outside the Hotel Theresa in the Harlem neighborhood of New York.

Fidel Castro Stayed in Harlem 60 Years Ago to Highlight Racial Injustice in the U.S.

The Cuban revolutionary shined a light on the stark economic disparities in America, much to the chagrin of the U.S. government

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