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colonialism

The arrival of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) and Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) in a Frisian village in the Netherlands on November 24, 2012. (Patrick Post / Hollandse Hoogte)

Who Is Zwarte Piet?

A holiday tradition in the Netherlands involving blackface has sparked a debate about race, the legacy of slavery, and the vestiges of colonialism. Emily Raboteau told the story in our Winter 2014 magazine.

That British Commonwealth

Empire to Commonwealth: Thirty Years of British Imperial History. By Walter Phelps Hall. New York: Henry Holt and Company. $4.50. Students' edition $3.50. The Third British Empire. By Alfred Zimmern. New York: Oxford University Press, American Bra [...]

Sayings

A wise saying is probably the earliest form of a popular story, taking place as an observed experience many times before it is shaped as an incident.

T. E. Lawrence and the Character of the Arabs


In a letter of December 1910, the young T. E. Lawrence defined civilization as "the power of appreciating the character and achievements of peoples in a different stage than ourselves." No Englishman had a greater understanding of the past glory of Arab civilization and the modern contrast between nomads and city folk; of the desert tribes and customs; of homosexuality and asceticism, fanaticism and religion; of the Bedouin methods of warfare, their blood feuds, bribery, plunder, and massacres; of the heights and depths of the Arab character.