In thrall to the red planet: 5 facts about our view of Mars through history

Eric Rabkin argues that depictions of Mars in literature and film – both as the cradle of hideous invaders, and humanity's potential saviour – frequently reflect the political climate back on Earth...

An illustration of the novel ‘The War of the Worlds’ by HG Wells, made by Henri Lanos, 1905. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

This article was first published in the March 2017 issue of BBC History Magazine

From HG Wells’s 1898 The War of the Worlds to the rise of the red menace in 1950s America…

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