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Difficult decisions confront the residents of St Petersburg whenever they attempt to conceptualise their city’s past. It is tempting to blot out the Soviet era, but this would mean forgetting the heroic days during the Second World War
In 1933, Patrick Leigh Fermor left England in a pair of hobnailed boots and walked across Europe ‘like a tramp, a pilgrim or a wandering scholar’. The books he wrote became classics and people dreamt of following in his footsteps
For a photographer, Cristian Barnett has some radical ideas. ‘Not to take a photograph is so often the best way to personally engage with something,’ he says
Out in the Persian Gulf there is a floating nuclear-powered city. This is the USS George H.W. Bush, an aircraft carrier and author Geoff Dyer is a cavilling landlubber, a Woody Allen-type thrown into an ultra-muscular carrier world
Yuval Noah Harari has a penchant for dramatic phrases. The agricultural revolution, which began to unfold 12,000 years ago, is described as ‘history’s biggest fraud’. This will come as a surprise to many of Harari’s readers
There is no finer guide to the history of cartography than Jerry Brotton, and Dorling Kindersley lead the pack when it comes to producing beautifully illustrated volumes. Here, they have joined forces and the results are wonderful
In the wake of the 2007–8 food price crisis, when the cost of staples such as rice and corn rose dramatically, global corporations and governments began buying vast tracts of land in poor regions of Africa and South America
Bill Hayton's rhetorical question, ‘What happens if someone shoots an archduke?’ is especially poignant in 2014 and draws attention to both the likelihood of escalation and the global consequences

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