Issue 13 of BBC World Histories is out now

The December 2018/January 2019 issue of BBC World Histories magazine is now on sale, featuring Africa's medieval golden age, the history of noodles, and the legacy of the 1920s musical theatre hit 'Ol' Man River'

BBC World Histories magazine

BBC World Histories, a title from the makers of BBC History Magazine, brings you a fresh take on our global past – and how it shapes our lives today.


In our cover feature this month, we ask: are we returning to an era of political extremes? As populist politicians come to power around the world – most recently in Brazil with the election of Jair Bolsonaro on 28 October – seven leading experts assess whether we are witnessing the dawn of a new era of extremism.

Elsewhere, we explore two stories that cast the familiar in a new light. Celia Hatton traces the surprising journey of the instant noodle – from its invention in Japan 60 years ago to US prisons today – while Mark Burman charts the course of ‘Ol’ Man River’, the hit centrepiece of the musical Show Boat that evolved to become a song with a social impact felt as far afield as Spain and India.

There’s much else besides, from an early trek across Canada to a look at the cultural treasures of medieval Africa. Plus, Linda Yueh explores whether history can help solve today’s economic problems, while Mary Fulbrook and Richard J Evans explore the aftermath of the Holocaust. 

Coming up in issue 14 (on sale from 31 January) 

Iran: from Persia to pariah

Trace the long story of this ancient land, from ancient glory to 20th-century upheavals

The end of the Aztecs

How the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico changed indigenous culture forever

Big ideas

Julian Baggini and Justin Champion discuss the importance of a truly global understanding of philosophy


Subscribe to BBC World Histories Magazine here