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“A Procession of Artisans at Istanbul”  

Evliya Çelebi

Born on the Golden Horn and raised in the Sultan’s palace in Istanbul, Çelebi traveled throughout Ottoman domains between 1640 and 1680. He published an account of his travels and ... More

An Arab Merchant Visits TAng China  

Ibn Wahab

Ibn Wahab was an Arab merchant from Basra (Iraq) who sailed to China via the Indian Ocean around 872 CE. His travel account includes a description of his interview with the Chinese emperor. ... More

“At the Feet of the Village Elders”  

Oginga Odinga

The attitudes of British colonial authorities towards their subjects are reflected in Oginga Odinga’s memories of his childhood in a Kenyan village. The British government took over Kenya ... More

Calico textile  

Anonymous

Calico was a fine printed cotton cloth first imported to England from Calicut, on the western shore of the subcontinent, by the British East India Company. A domestic manufacture of ... More

Cosmas Indicopleustes (Cosmas The India-Voyager), Christian Topography  

Cosmas

This remarkable account of a merchant’s travels throughout Eastern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and India resulted from the singular obsession of a monk in retirement. Determined to prove ... More

First Inaugural Address  

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s four terms as President marked a turning point in American history, establishing the principle of the federal government’s responsibility for public welfare and ... More

Hard Times  

Charles Dickens

Although his novels are beloved as works of fiction today, Charles Dickens (1812–1870) was also an acute observer of the ways in which industrialization fundamentally transformed economic ... More

Letter to the Rev. H. Venn  

Samuel Crowther

In 1807 most of the countries involved in the centuries-long Atlantic slave trade signed an international agreement to abolish the shipments of Africans to the western hemisphere. The ... More

The Mystery of the Harappan Seals  

Thomas R. Trautmann

Few things are more tantalizing to historians than an undeciphered script. Hundreds of broken and intact Harappan seals have been discovered in numerous sites throughout the Indus Valley, ... More

On Effective Government  

Tang Taizong

Tang Taizong (d. 649), a founder of the Tang dynasty, was determined to create an empire that expanded upon the consolidation achieved under the Sui dynasty. The result was a large empire ... More

“Secret Plan for Managing the Country”  

Honda Toshiaki

Drawing on the conclusions of his “Western” education, Japanese economist Honda Toshiaki (1749–1821) advocated a three-pronged plan of action to level the playing field between the Tokugawa ... More

“Signs of the Times”  

Thomas Carlyle

A Scottish historian and writer, Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) turned the difficulties of his life—a sickly nature, a crisis of faith in the Christian Church, and a tempestuous marriage—toward ... More

The Story Of Ali Cogia, a Merchant of Baghdad  

Anonymous

With the possible exception of the Qur’an itself, no other work of Arab–Muslim culture is as widely known in the west as is the Arabian Nights. The story presented here, “The Story of Ali ... More

“The Friend of the People”  

Johann Georg Eccarius

Johann Georg Eccarius (1818–1889) worked as a tailor until he became a dedicated Marxist in the 1840s, after which he worked in journalism and as a Communist organizer. In 1851 he moved to ... More

“What Educated Women Can Do”  

Indira Gandhi

The only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi served in turn as prime minister between 1966 and 1977 and again from 1980 until her assassination in ... More

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