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We live in an era scarred by conflict, inequality and other complex problems – but that’s nothing new. Indeed, the pages of history are filled with hatred and oppression. In this issue, we explore some of the darker narratives of the past, from ongoing ethnic and social prejudices to the Atlantic slave trade. Yet if there’s a common theme emerging across the pages that follow, it’s the determination of individuals to fight back against forces that can seem inexorable.

One such force is anti-Jewish hatred, which recently reared its head once more in British politics – the latest chapter in a long, ignoble history of prejudice. In this issue’s Long Read feature, Deborah Lipstadt offers her take on the roots of antisemitism and its continuing prevalence in political and cultural dialogue. “There are no easy correctives, no silver bullets... The roots of this hatred may be too deeply embedded to ever be fully eradicated,” she writes. Yet the way to tackle such prejudice, she argues, is to challenge it when it occurs – and to work to understand its complex past. You can read her full argument on page 23.

Her article reveals how historical concepts have been – and continue to be – co-opted in a bid to lend legitimacy to persecution and violence. Another example of


this can be found in the legacy of the crusades. Our Big Question, starting on page 38, asks a panel of experts to examine how those medieval conflicts continue to influence international relationships in the 21st century.

The LGBTQ community is another group that has faced a long history of prejudice. As we approach the 50th anniversary of a major milestone in that story, the Stonewall Riots of 1969, Christopher Parkes explores how, in the sweltering heat of a New York summer, the patrons of one dingy bar changed the course of queer rights history. That’s on page 52.

From the streets of the US to the skies above, this year also marks the half-centenary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. To accompany a major new BBC World Service podcast charting that landmark event, we tell the story of the mission through the words of the astronauts, engineers and scientists involved. That starts on page 70.

There’s much else to absorb besides, from the fatal impact of Soviet nuclear secrecy to a literary voyage across the South Pacific. We’ll be back on 18 July; until then, enjoy the issue. Ma Elton Editor, BBC World Histories

Together with two regular titles, the BBC History Magazine team also produces a bi-weekly podcast, live events and a range of special editions exploring specific topics and periods

Available around the world, BBC History Magazine is published 13 times a year in print and many digital editions. Turn to page 22 for our latest subscription offer.


Launched in 2016, BBC World Histories complements BBC History Magazine and is published every two months.




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