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Articles on European history

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St Andrew’s Church, Kyiv, Ukraine. Bossi/Flickr

5 must-read books about Russia and Ukraine: our expert picks

Straight from our experts, here are five books to help you understand what’s happening right now in Ukraine and Russia, from a must-read history of Ukraine to a literary classic with insights into the Russian soul.
Ukraine’s fight for independence can be traced to the 19th century when it was under the control of the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires. Ukrainians, then as now, believe they have an identity separate from Russia. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

A short history of Ukrainian nationalism — and its tumultuous relationship with Russia

Ukrainians believe they have an identity separate from Russia. Russia, on the other hand, believes that Ukraine and Russia share the same history.
The ‘Malleus Maleficarum,’ a medieval handbook, was used to try and execute supposed witches. Its influence lasted for centuries – including at the Salem Witch Trials. Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

How do you spot a witch? This notorious 15th-century book gave instructions – and helped execute thousands of women

Witch trials relied on a medieval text called the “Malleus Maleficarum” – a book this reference librarian can hold in her hands.
The Leopard/IMDB

Guide to the Classics: The Leopard

The Leopard (Il Gattopardo) has been regarded as a classic of European literature since soon after its publication in 1958. It recounts the decline and fall of Sicily’s aristocracy.
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump meet the press at the 2019 NATO summit in London. AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

At 70, is NATO still important? 5 essential reads

As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization celebrates its 70th anniversary with a leaders’ meeting in London, five US scholars shed light on NATO’s history and its potential future.
US marines walk through the rebuilt palace of King Nebuchadnezzar, in the ancient town of Babylon, in April 2003. The ruins suffered serious damage when American troops set up a military base amid the ruins during the Iraq War. Reuters/Jerry Lampen

‘World Heritage’ site selection is Eurocentric – and that shapes which historic places get love and money

A scholar analyzed data about UNESCO World Heritage sites to explain why European cultural relics like Notre Dame are so beloved, while splendid monuments elsewhere remain relatively unknown.
This undated score, written by Joseph Mohr and titled ‘Weynachts Lied’ (‘Christmas Carol’), is the earliest known surviving copy of ‘Silent Night.’ Salzburg Museum

The humble origins of ‘Silent Night’

Over 200 years ago, an Austrian priest teamed up with a schoolteacher to perform the first rendition of ‘Silent Night.’ Little did they know that it would one day be sung in over 300 languages.

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