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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

Abolition of Serfdom  

Alexander II

The defeat of Russia in the Crimean War (1853–1856) convinced the newly enthroned Alexander II (r. 1855–1881) of the need for fundamental reforms in his country. The first institution he ... More

Address to the Duma concerning the annexation of Crimea  

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin, the former KGB officer who has dominated Russian political life since 2000, delivered this remarkable oration after annexing the Crimea region from the nation of Ukraine in ... More

Addresses to the German Nation  

Johann Gottlieb Fichte

The beginnings of German national identity were not political but rather cultural. Already in the eighteenth century, Germans had begun to react against the intellectual domination of the ... More

Failed Prophecies, Glorious Hopes  

Richard Rorty

Richard Rorty (1931–2007) was an American philosopher who taught at Stanford, Princeton, and the University of Virginia. Rorty became associated with a form of American philosophy known as ... More

Global Gender Gap Report  

World Economic Forum

The Global Gender Gap Report was introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 to analyze disparities between genders in a worldwide context. It assesses national gender gaps in political, ... More

History Of The Franks  

Gregory Bishop of Tours

Over the course of the fifth century, the Franks became one of the most powerful of the Germanic successor kingdoms. While some other Germanic rulers converted to Arianism, a Christian ... More

Iron Curtain speech  

Winston Churchill

Throughout the 1930s, Churchill had opposed the policy of “appeasement” advocated by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his allies in the British Parliament. His rise to the highest ... More

Janissary Musket  


The Janissaries constitute the most famous and centralized of the Ottomans’ military institutions. A feared and respected military force, the Janissaries were Christian-born males who had ... More

Mein Kampf  

Adolf Hitler

As a result of the failure of his Beer Hall Putsch in Munich in November 1923, Adolf Hitler (1889–1945) was sent to a minimum security prison at Landsberg. However, he was paroled, four ... More


Otto von Bismarck

After the fall of Napoleon in 1815, Germany was still divided into thirty-eight German states, the most important of which were Austria and Prussia. Until midcentury, memories of the French ... More

NSC 68  

Paul H. Nitze

This Report from the National Security Council to President Harry S. Truman laid out the framework for the policy of “containment” that guided US actions throughout the Cold War. Its main ... More

On Nuclear Defense  

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev

The 1980s was the final decade of the Cold War. Whereas the period between 1942 and 1962 marked the most hostile stage and 1962 to 1979 was the era of détente, the final stage saw the ... More

“On the Tasks of Workers in the Economy”  

Josef V. Stalin

As leader of the Soviet Union for over two decades, Josef Vissarionovich Stalin (1879–1953) was one of the most important figures of the twentieth century. A professional revolutionary from ... More

Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World  

Mikhail Gorbachev

Two years after becoming first secretary of the Soviet Politburo in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev (b. 1931) launched his two trademark economic and political programs, perestroika ... More

Povest’ Vremennykh Let: The Russian Primary Chronicle  


Because Byzantium faced Islamic populations on its eastern borders, the main opportunities for conversion of pagan populations initially were in the west, among the Slavic peoples of the ... More

Secret Memorandum on Industrialization  

Sergei Witte

The prime architect of Russia’s railroad and industrial expansion in the late nineteenth century was Sergei Witte (1849–1915). Witte traced his ancestry on his father’s side to Dutch ... More

Speech of the 11th July  

Lajos Kossuth

Lajos Kossuth was a Hungarian political leader and lawyer. Born in 1802, he was a key participant in the Magyar nationalist movement. As the editor of a newspaper in Pest, he gained renown ... More

“Telegram to Moscow”  

Nikolai Novikov

The Soviet view of the Cold War world is reflected in Ambassador Nikolai Novikov’s extended 1946 analysis of the postwar global situation and of U.S. policies and goals. Novikov’s ... More

“The Court of Suleiman the Magnificent”  

Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq

Ghiselin (1522–1592) was a Flemish ambassador who represented the Austrian Habsburgs at the court of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) in Istanbul. In 1581, he published an account of ... More