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