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“A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality”  

Jean Jaques Rosseau

François-Marie Arouet (who published under the pen name Voltaire) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were two of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Both somewhat cynical about the ... More

The Adventures of Telemachus  

Francois Fénelon

A Catholic priest and writer, François Fénelon (1651–1715) was enlisted by the church to preach to French Protestants (Huguenots) in order to bring them back to orthodox belief. His ... More

Against Nature (A rebours)  

Joris-Karl Huysmans

Huysmans (1848–1907) was a French novelist and art critic and one of the early supporters of Impressionism. While he supported himself financially as a member of France’s civil service, ... More

ANZAC troops at Gallipoli in August 1915  

C.E.W. Bean

In the aftermath of the Great War, the Allied nations compiled both regimental and general histories of the conflict. In these narratives, the experiences of the soldiers and their ... 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

The Azamgarh Proclamation  

Firoz Shah

This proclamation was published in the Delhi Gazette in the midst of the “Great Mutiny” of 1857. The author was most probably Firoz Shah, a grandson of the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar ... More

Bad Hair Days in the Paleolithic  

Judith C. Berman

In this somewhat lighthearted essay, anthropologist Judith Berman takes on the stereotype of the wild looking, unkempt “cave man” popularized in cartoons, movies, television shows, etc. ... More

The Book of Prophecies  

Christopher Columbus

Although he is more famous for his voyages—and for the richly detailed accounts he made of them—Columbus (1451–1506) also composed a book of prophetic revelations toward the end of his ... More

A Boxer Rebel and a British Family Killed during the Boxer Rebellion  

Anonymous

A new wave of antiforeign sentiment in China, triggered by a “race for concessions” among the Western powers in the late 1890s, was increasingly centered on a group called the Society of ... More

Canto XIX of the Inferno  

Dante

Dante Alighieri (1265 – 1321) was a Florentine poet who bridged the artistic cultures of the Middle Ages and of the Renaissance. Dante’s approach to his poetry foreshadowed the Renaissance ... More

Casta Paintings, Mexico  

Anonymous

Some of the most remarkable visual records of colonial Mexico are the series of paintings called “caste” paintings, illustrating every racial combination of Spanish, mestizo, black, Native ... More

China in the Sixteenth Century  

Matteo Ricci

When European Christian missionaries first came to Ming China, they made very little progress in converting the Chinese, in large part due to their limited training in Chinese language and ... More

Civil Laws According to the Natural Order  

Jean Domat

Jean Domat (1625–1696) was a lawyer and legal scholar who served as Royal Prosecutor in the city of Clermont from 1655–1683, after which he retired to his study and dedicated himself to ... More

Civilization and Its Discontents  

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), who trained as a neurologist and general psychologist, pioneered psychoanalysis, the technique of encouraging free association. From his practice he developed the ... More

Civilization and its Discontents  

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) was born in the Austro-Hungarian empire and lived in Vienna nearly all his life. (He fled to London in 1938, when Nazi Germany invaded Austria.) As a young man, ... More

The Clash of Civilizations  

Samuel Huntington

Samuel Huntington (1927–2008) was an influential political scientist who taught for most of his career at Harvard University. He was the author of numerous books and articles on politics ... More

Collective Guilt  

Paul Tillich

Paul Tillich (1886–1965) was a German-American theologian and a Christian existentialist philosopher. Born and raised in Germany, Tillich attended several universities there before becoming ... More

Commentary on his Journey to the Court of Akbar  

Antonio Monserrate

Akbar the Great was Mughal emperor from 1556 until his death in 1605. One of the main sources we have of Akbar is a commentary written by a Portugese Jesuit, whom Akbar had invited to his ... More

The Communist Manifesto  

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Karl Marx (1818–1883) is one of the least understood men in history. His philosophy, commonly known as Marxism, is frequently associated with the creation of a harsh totalitarian state and ... More

Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook  

Flora Annie Steel and Grace Gardiner

Two wives of British colonial agents in India compiled their experiences in this practical guide for new “memsahibs” (Indian term of respect for married, upper-class white women) in ... More

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